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How to subtract numbers in Excel in 3 ways

You can subtract numbers in Microsoft Excel in a few different ways, depending on your data and formatting. There are a few different ways you can subtract numbers in Excel, depending on your data and formatting.Matias Delacroix/Getty Images You can subtract in Excel by placing a minus sign in front of any numbers you want to deduct. You can add and subtract a bunch of numbers at once using the equal sign or SUM function. You can add and subtract a set of numbers by specifying the range, such as =SUM(A1:A10). Subtraction in Excel is like subtraction in real life — it's straightforward. You simply need to keep in mind that unlike other common arithmetic functions like addition, multiplication, and division, there's no subtraction function in Excel. That means you can't issue some sort of "subtract" command. Instead, to subtract, you sum with negative numbers. There are a few common ways to do this.How to subtract numbers in a single cell in ExcelStandard subtraction in Excel is relatively simple. Click in an empty cell, type an equal sign and then enter the numbers you want to subtract. You can enter two or more numbers and add and subtract at the same time. According to the usual order of operations, it doesn't matter what order you list the numbers in, as long as you are only adding and subtracting. For example, type:=100+50-10-20Then press Enter. You will get a result of 120.To subtract in Excel, use a minus sign just like you would doing arithmetic on paper.Dave JohnsonThat's the same as if you did the same steps and entered:=50-10+100-20  How to subtract in Excel using cell referencesYou don't have to subtract numbers in a single cell; you can also set up a formula that will subtract the values stored in multiple cells. For example, suppose you wanted to subtract the value of A2 from the value of A1. Enter some values in A1 and A2. For example, 100 and 25. Then click A3 and press =. Click cell A1 and the label A1 automatically appears in A3. Press the minus sign (-) and then click the cell A2. Press Enter. You should now see the result of 75 appear in A3. You can subtract one cell from another in Excel.Dave JohnsonHow to subtract a range of numbers in ExcelYou can use the previous technique to subtract cells, but if you have several cells you want to subtract, there is an easier method — you can subtract a range of cells all at once. Suppose you have a set of numbers stored in cells A1 through A10, and you want to subtract them. Using the SUM function, we can calculate the result easily. In fact, this function can combine addition and subtraction into a single operation — you simply need to put a minus sign in the cell of every number you want to subtract (this means the number will look like a negative number). 1. Enter the numbers you want to use in each cell from A1 through A10. Remember that any numbers you want to subtract should have a minus sign (-).2. Click the cell where you want the final result to appear (such as A11). Type =SUM(. That is an equal sign, the word SUM, and an open parenthesis. 3. Click cell A1. While holding the mouse button, drag the mouse from A1 all the way to A10. Release the mouse button.4. Press Enter. Excel will close the parenthesis for you automatically and perform the calculation. You can add and subtract using the SUM function.Dave JohnsonRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJun 23rd, 2022

LGBTQ+ Discrimination Is Still Problematic in Real Estate. Here’s What Agents Should Know

According to the second-annual report published by the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, discrimination in the real estate industry remains prevalent—despite its extension of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) implementations and marketing towards the LGBTQ+ community.  The Alliance, one of the nation’s leading LGBTQ+ trade organizations, aims to reexamine the conversation surrounding unconscious bias and discrimination… The post LGBTQ+ Discrimination Is Still Problematic in Real Estate. Here’s What Agents Should Know appeared first on RISMedia. According to the second-annual report published by the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, discrimination in the real estate industry remains prevalent—despite its extension of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) implementations and marketing towards the LGBTQ+ community.  The Alliance, one of the nation’s leading LGBTQ+ trade organizations, aims to reexamine the conversation surrounding unconscious bias and discrimination in real estate, and serve as a much-needed voice and valued resource for working real estate professionals.  The report titled, “Discrimination And Its Impact On LGBTQ+ Community: Real Estate Professionals And Consumers,” includes data reflecting that, “20.7% of surveyed Alliance members identify real estate agents as the leading culprit in how housing discrimination occurs against the LGBTQ+ real estate home buyer.” Surveyed Alliance members were asked to weigh in on anti-discriminatory policy as it relates to their community versus company culture—with nearly 20% of respondents sharing that they experience high levels of unconscious bias within their local real estate market, almost double the 11% who report this about their own company. 17% of respondents noted an incident of discrimination by industry professionals, while 6% cited discrimatory behavior among their colleagues. Alliance CEO, Ryan Weyandt, who has been at the forefront of the non-profit’s overall mission to educate and empower LGBTQ+ real estate professionals and its clientele since 2020, spoke with RISMedia on why the disparity between company and industry-level discrimination paints a bigger picture of how DEI efforts shape change.  “Most instances of discrimination are based on pre-conceived notions , being uncomfortable or having a general fear of others,” he says. “It makes sense that LGBTQ+ people are more welcomed at the company level because their colleagues get to know them. At the larger industry level, where interaction may not be as consistent, it takes longer for the educational and get-to-know-you process to occur. Now that DEI is becoming part of company and industry culture, we are looking forward to the next steps.” The Alliance, already motivated by change, hopes to take immediate action against these concerning stats and improve on its systems to better protect its constituents. “This is not a tomorrow project. It’s a now project,” Weyandt asserts. “The diverse sectors are already here and they are coming in greater home buying numbers than ever before. The real estate industry should put anti-discrimination efforts at the top of the list of priorities. Our nation is changing. We are more diverse every day. We have more homebuyers and sellers from minority groups and obviously more LGBTQ+ consumers. Our younger generations are the most accepting in history. They will not tolerate discriminatory behavior. If REALTORS®, lenders, title professionals and ancillary service providers do not welcome these new consumers, are prejudicial and/or discriminatory, the industry will suffer and individual professionals will suffer in their businesses.” Pathway to homeownership On March 28, 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the controversial “Parental Rights in Education Bill,” which will take effect on July 1st. Florida’s H.B. 1557, which critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, will ban teacher or third party discussions of sexual orientation and gender-related issues in kindergarten through third-grade classrooms or in a manner deemed, “not age or developmentally appropriate.” Several other states are exploring similar types of legislation.  Weyandt says the facially neutral law and its vagueness of standards reflects some of the inconsistencies and loopholes that affect buyers and sellers—many fearing that this political framing and the erasure of community-related speech and legal safeguards impacts real estate professionals’ ability to conduct business without bias. He’s concerned about how these policies may impact the community’s journey to homeownership. “These horrific bills attacking our community are a form of housing discrimination,” he says. “Not in the immediate moment of an elementary schooler, but the lingering impact that mushrooms through our lives. Our inaugural LGBTQ+ Real Estate Report last year went in-depth into how on-going discrimination dating back to our childhoods impacts an LGBTQ+ person’s pathway to homeownership. Those bullied or discriminated against in those early years may not do well in school which impacts if and where they go to college. The same applies to college and if we are fully welcomed into the workplace. Too many LGBTQ+ people are not afforded the same opportunities in their career, are not promoted and therefore struggle to make more money and save for a down payment.” Though the Biden administration has pushed for housing discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity to be amended into the Fair Housing Act, LGBTQ+ people are still not protected under federal law. In 27 states, there are no explicit statewide laws at all protecting people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment or housing and public accommodations. Various forms of disrimination that can result in these unprotected states include: an agent refusing to show a listing to a LGBTQ+ couple in a predominantly heterosexual neighborhood, a landlord or maintenance worker not tending to repairs because he disagrees with a tenants “lifestyle,” an underwriter tossing out two-women’s loan application even though their duel income meets the necessary requirements because he perceives the applicants as same-sex partners.  With a housing market pricing people out of cities and into suburbs and rural areas, LGBTQ+ homeowners risk being under-represented and under-protected as a result, Weyandt says. Which is why he and over 2,000 members of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance continue to lobby for permanent legislation to protect an already marginalized group of homebuyers. “The Alliance and our partners are working hard to constantly remind the real estate community that LGBTQ+ people ARE people,” Weyandt says. “You already know and love us. Look at the stats. With just about 1-in-10 Americans identifying as part of the community—and every household has 3.5 people—if you look to your neighbors on your right or left, the law of averages would show that someone in one of those three households is part of the LGBTQ+ community. That doesn’t even consider your family, circle of friends, etc.” Building better allies Though Weyandt understands this is not an overnight fix, the Alliance is still doing everything at its disposal to correct biased behavior within its own sphere of influence. “Seemingly every day we are sent another example of a REALTOR® or real estate professional, usually on social media, openly discriminating against the LGBTQ+ community,” Weyandt shares. “We are working with NAR on how it wants to address these issues as they obviously violate the NAR Code of Ethics along with new anti-discrimination edicts. We also report these to local and state associations along with the offender’s brokerage and brand. In almost all instances the response is swift. Depending on the instance, we have seen brokerages disassociate themselves from the agent and REALTOR® associations take disciplinary action. We also offer to meet with the offender to help them learn and get more comfortable with the LGBTQ+ community.” In order to lead by example and be a better ally to the LGBTQ+ community, the Alliance provides the following constructive ways to bring more acceptance, awareness and accountability into your agent practice.   Be informed. For any first-time buyer, the ins-and-outs of buying a home can be overwhelming. From understanding how to secure a downpayment, potential barriers to homeownership and finding the right neighborhood, the Alliance takes some of the guesswork out of your homeowner potential. The Alliance assists in helping LGBTQ+ buyers find an agent or home-related professional that is LGBTQ+-friendly and/or certified to help take some of the stress out of an otherwise exciting chapter. In collaboration with Freddie Mac and The Williams Institute, the Alliance also publishes an annual report detailing hard analysis and statistics on current market data in regards to LGBTQ+ homeownership. This not only aids buyers, but equips real estate professionals with the knowledge, resources and insight they need to excel and educate their community clients. Know your coverage. Every homeowner needs to protect their home, their possessions and their loved ones. Agents should be aware and share insurance policies that are inclusive and LGBTQ+ friendly. Hippo Insurance hosts a blog that educates and empowers LGBTQ+ leads on all they need to know before buying. An expert team calculates a buyer’s premium to suggest the best type of insurance for them—and goes the extra mile with its benefits program. From home-care services and maintenance, to complimentary smart-home devices, Hippo takes care of its customers and helps streamline an otherwise taxing process, the company reports. Hippo also provides a comprehensive guide for transgender buyers looking to purchase a home. From an overview of what it costs to buy in the most trans-friendly cities, to how to safeguard yourself against being deadnamed or outed, Hippo can help your clients strategize the most out of the homeowning experience, and save some essential dollars in the process, the company states.  “At Hippo, we believe in bringing empowerment and confidence throughout homebuying and homeownership,” says Courtney Klosterman, home insights expert at Hippo. “Securing a home insurance quote should be easy, accessible, proactive and built with the customer in mind.” Get Alliance certified. The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance is committed to training its industry professionals on how to be better allies. Its Alliance-certified Ally Certification Course offers virtual classes to help allies develop a better understanding of the LGBTQ+ community and provide them with knowledge on how to work with potential home buyers and sellers who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. Those who complete the course will be presented with a certification of completion and a badge to be displayed on their website profile. This course is an opportunity for brokerages to get their entire team involved in the conversation surrounding LGBTQ+ discrimination and how to respectfully conduct business with the community at large.  “Very simply, none of us can improve ourselves without wanting to learn,” Weyandt shares. “Allies are incredibly important to the LGBTQ+ community. Supporting a loved one, colleague or friend, treating someone as a person first outside of their sexual orientation and gender identity, and/or standing up to those who attack us, truly matters. There is also a business side to becoming an Ally. We are seeing LGBTQ+ people move to communities not traditionally known as, ‘LGBTQ+ friendly.’ This means brokerages and agents who don’t learn and become comfortable with our community will lose business. Remember, it takes more than hanging a rainbow flag during Pride month to gain the trust of the community.” To view the Alliance’s second-annual report, click here.  Joey Macari is RISMedia’s associate editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at jmacari@rismedia.com. The post LGBTQ+ Discrimination Is Still Problematic in Real Estate. Here’s What Agents Should Know appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaMay 2nd, 2022

The 5 best microwaves in 2021

Based on research, expert consultations, and hands-on testing, we found these to be the best microwaves you can buy. Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky The best microwaves cook food evenly and quickly, and feature useful preset buttons. Before testing microwaves, we consulted experts and researched popular models. Panasonic's NN-SN65KB Microwave Oven is our top pick because it's powerful and has helpful presets. When microwave ovens were first introduced in the late 1940s, they were more than 5 feet tall, weighed about 750 pounds, and cost thousands of dollars. Thankfully, microwaves have since come a long way - they now fit on your countertop and many households use them every day to reheat or cook food. A good microwave should heat your food safely, quickly, and evenly. In addition to our research and testing, we spoke with Bob Schiffmann, a microwave heating expert and president of the International Microwave Power Institute, as well as Jared Lodico, a postdoctoral researcher in physics at UCLA, to better understand how microwaves work and what to look for when shopping for a microwave. We put five popular microwaves through a series of tests, starting with the marshmallow test - an industry-standard experiment to check for hot and cold spots by heating marshmallows for a set period of time. We also used each microwave to reheat beverages and cook frozen foods, and we tested every model's presets (like Popcorn and Sensor Cook). Finally, we used the microwaves for several days throughout a normal routine, evaluating how easy they were to use and how well they cooked. You can read more about our methodology here.The best microwaves you can buy in 2021Best microwave overall: Panasonic NN-SN65KB Microwave OvenBest microwave on a budget: Commercial Chef Countertop MicrowaveBest convection microwave: Toshiba Microwave Oven EC042A5C-SSBest large capacity microwave: Panasonic NN-SD975S MicrowaveBest smart microwave: GE Smart Microwave with Scan-to-Cook The best microwave overall Farima Ferguson/Insider The Panasonic NN-SN65KB Microwave Oven packs 1,200 watts of power to cook food quickly and evenly. It's compact, yet has a spacious interior, and comes with helpful preset buttons for easy cooking.  Power: 1,200 wattsPresets: Sensor Cook Reheat, Coffee/Milk, Turbo Defrost by the pound or kilogram, Popcorn, and Frozen FoodsChild-safety lock: YesPros: Five useful preset buttons, 1,200 watts of cooking power (more than most microwaves), includes a child-safety lock buttonCons: Fingerprint smudges are visible, the light inside isn't bright enough to check food while it's cooking, it's loud, Frozen Foods feature doesn't cook accurately, doesn't have Express Cook buttonsAt 1,200 watts, the Panasonic NN-SN65KB Microwave Oven packs a punch and cooks food fast. The microwave heats remarkably evenly, which we saw during the marshmallow test. The marshmallows all expanded evenly, and at the end of two minutes, there was only a bit of burning in the very center of the marshmallows.The microwave's power levels start at P10, the highest cooking level, and go down to P0, the Keep Warm level. P10 is the default setting and the one I used regularly for heating and cooking.If you're using this microwave to simply reheat leftovers, the Sensor Reheat feature works well. Once cooking, it detects the humidity level of the food inside and starts counting down the cooking time. I also tried the more niche preset buttons like Popcorn and Coffee/Milk preset, and both worked better than the presets on other microwaves I tested.That said, I was less impressed with the Frozen Food preset that categorizes food groups into numbers, much like Sensor Reheat. I used this when making frozen mac and cheese and found that the microwave overestimated the amount of time needed to cook it. A few other minor downsides: the light inside the microwave is dim, so it's hard to monitor the food while it's cooking, and fingerprints are highly visible on the control panel. However, this is overall a great microwave that balances power and size with easy-to-use features. Read our full review of the Panasonic NN-SN65KB Microwave Oven here. Best microwave on a budget Farima Ferguson/Insider The Commercial Chef Microwave is bare-bones, but super simple to use. It's moderately powerful, well-priced, and compact enough for small kitchens.  Power: 600 wattsPresets: NoneChild-safety lock: NoPros: Simple to use, compact, quieter than most models, heats evenlyCons: Doesn't have a clock, can only set cook time by the minute, not very powerful (only 600 watts), too small for large dishes or plates over 10 inches in diameterEditor's note: Commercial Chef has an updated model of this microwave with digital controls, at a lower price point. We're currently looking into testing it.At less than 18 inches long and 11 inches deep, The Commercial Chef Microwave is compact and well-sized for small kitchens or dorm rooms. In many ways, it resembles an old-school toaster oven, and even "dings" when cooking is complete. The controls consist of just two rotary knobs — one for power level and one for cook time. Unfortunately, you can't set specific seconds if you're zapping something quick, like warming a piece of bread or melting butter. It also doesn't have any special features or buttons.That said, if simplicity is what you're after, this model is easy and intuitive to use, and heats relatively evenly. When I did the marshmallow test, I noticed a few browned pieces on the outer edges where the marshmallows expanded more, but overall no major hot or cold spots. At just 600 watts, it's a little underpowered. In the absence of any preset buttons, I just used the package instructions to cook frozen mac and cheese. After the four minutes recommended on the package, it was warm throughout but not hot. You'll likely have to add a minute or two to any package instructions when cooking in this microwave. If you want a no-frills microwave that reheats and cooks food in a simple, quick manner, this is a great option, especially if you don't have much kitchen space to work with. Best convection microwave Farima Ferguson/Insider If you're looking for a microwave that does it all, the 1,000-watt Toshiba Microwave Oven with Convection, cooks, reheats, bakes, and even roasts food quickly and thoroughly. Power: 1,000 wattsPresets: Popcorn, Sensor Cook, Sensor Reheat, Auto Defrost, Favorites, and Time Defrost; also has bake, roast, and toast functionalityChild-safety lock: YesPros: Quiet, many quick-touch preset cooking buttons, a multi-functional appliance that can bake and roast, includes a child-safety lockCons: Heavy and bulky, convection feature heats up kitchen quicklyIf you're trying to condense the number of kitchen appliances in your home, then the Toshiba Microwave Oven with Convection is a good multi-functional appliance to have. Not only does it work as a traditional microwave, but it also bakes, roasts, and toasts. It's also the only microwave we tested that has an Express Cook feature, which allow you to quickly start the microwave by just pressing numbers one through six on the number pad.At 1,000 watts, the Toshiba microwave oven is powerful. I definitely saw the results when I did the marshmallow test: the marshmallows in the center of the tray burned after two minutes, and there was a lot of moisture buildup on the tray underneath the parchment paper. Aside from the burning in the middle, I didn't notice any hot or cold spots. It also cooked frozen mac and cheese thoroughly.One of the unique features of this microwave is that it also works as a convection oven, so you don't need to buy a separate toaster oven. To test out the convection oven, I warmed up frozen French fries, which typically come out soggy in a regular microwave. The heating options were confusing, so I had to refer to the cooking chart in the manual to see what level to cook the French fries. I was pleasantly surprised to see the fries turned out as crispy as they do in my air fryer (though it took twice as long and the settings were a bit more complicated).You can also make toast with the convection setting. When I tried this, I found it toasted very unevenly and the results were paler and flabbier than a regular toaster, so I don't recommend this microwave for that use.Overall, this microwave heated well, the buttons are easy to use and smudge-proof, and the microwave beeps loud and clear. The only major downside is you will need plenty of countertop space to accommodate this large oven, and at nearly 50 pounds, it isn't easy to move. Best large capacity microwave Farima Ferguson/Insider The Panasonic NN-SD975S Microwave, which can also be installed as a built-in, is large enough to fit two plates at a time and features an easy-to-use dial to heat and cook your food.Power: 1,250 wattsPresets: Popcorn (three levels), Coffee/Milk, Inverter Turbo Defrost, Keep Warm, Sensor Cook, Sensor ReheatChild-safety lock: YesPros: Quiet, powerful 1,250 watts, the dial is easy to use, comes with useful preset buttons, includes a child-safety lock, can be installed as a built-in microwave Cons: You can't see the food well while it's cooking, dial only goes up in 10-second incrementsThe Panasonic NN-SD975S Microwave Oven is large in both size and capacity; with a 16.5-inch turntable, it's ideal if you're cooking for a family.One dial controls the cooking time and it only adjusts in 10-second increments; a minor inconvenience, but it otherwise operates smoothly and easily. You can also use the dial to input weight for food you're defrosting by turning the dial clockwise until you get to the proper weight. At 1,250 watts, it's the most powerful microwave we tested, and it overcooked frozen mac and cheese when I cooked it according to package instructions. You'll likely need to decrease cooking time by a minute or two from any package instructions with this microwave. However, it heated very evenly. When I did the marshmallow test, it produced the best results of any microwave I tried with no hot or cold spots, even in the center. Like other microwaves we tried, you can program up to three stages of cooking, and the display screen will let you know where you are in the cooking process. If you're using the multi-stage cooking feature, you can use the Keep Warm setting as your final stage.While it's a powerful microwave with lots of helpful features, it's extremely large and bulky, so best suited for large kitchens or households with many members who will take advantage of its larger capacity. This microwave can also be built into a cabinet or other static feature in your kitchen, though I left it on my countertop for easier testing. Best smart microwave Farima Ferguson/Insider GE's Smart Microwave Oven is Alexa- and Google Assistant-enabled, so you can cook your food using voice commands or from your smartphone.Power: 900 wattsPresets:Dinner Plate, Pizza, Defrost (by weight and time), Reheat, Potato, Popcorn, Beverage, Vegetables, an Add 30 Seconds quick buttonChild-safety lock: YesPros: Features smart technology and scan-to-cook technology at a reasonable price, heats food quickly, spacious yet compact enough to fit in a small kitchenCons: Doesn't cook food as evenly as other microwaves we tested, doesn't come with a trim kit to mount over the stove or underneath cabinets, the voice commands are finicky.The GE Smart Microwave Oven looks like any ordinary microwave on the market. It's sleek and relatively compact, but a dinner plate still fits nicely inside. Its defining feature is its smart connectivity.I cooked marshmallows in the microwave for two minutes on high to see how they heated. I noticed some hot spots, and the outer edges and center cooked more quickly than the rest of the marshmallows. I also microwaved frozen mac and cheese according to the package instructions. At 900 watts, this microwave isn't the most powerful, but it heats up pretty quickly. The best part of having a smart microwave is that you can control the settings and check the status of your food from your smartphone or by using voice commands with a virtual assistant like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. I tested the microwave with my Google Home Mini, and I was able to use voice commands to perform basic functions including start/stop, pause/resume, set the microwave for a specific amount of time, add time (but I couldn't subtract), and ask how much time is left (I can also check this from my smartphone).Frankly, most people don't need a smart microwave. However, the hands-free technology makes cooking easier when you're multitasking, and it's more sanitary since you are reducing how much you touch the microwave. It also features a scan-to-cook function where you can scan the barcode on a package of food using your smartphone, and the cook time and settings automatically display. All you have to do is press or say "start." Other smart microwaves on the market can be upwards of $300, so for the price and reliability, this is a great microwave. Read our full review of the GE Smart Microwave Oven here. Our testing methodology Farima Ferguson/Insider In addition to speaking with Bob Schiffmann, a microwave heating expert and president of the International Microwave Power Institute, and Jared Lodico, a postdoctoral researcher in physics at UCLA, I put all the microwaves through a standard set of tests, evaluating how well they cooked food, how easy they were to use, and any special features or extra buttons. Here's how I tested microwaves: Marshmallow test: The first test I performed with every microwave was the marshmallow test, an industry-standard way to check your microwave for hot and cold spots. To conduct this test, I cut parchment paper to the size of each microwave's glass tray and completely covered it with mini marshmallows, leaving no blank spaces. I cooked the marshmallows in the microwave for two minutes on high to see how they expanded and cooked. The marshmallows that expanded first revealed the microwave's hot spots, while marshmallows that still appeared raw showed the cold spots. Colder spots are potentially dangerous because they can mean your food is undercooked and possibly unsafe to eat in those areas. A good microwave produces even cooking across the entire surface — no burnt or uncooked marshmallows.Frozen meal test: I also cooked frozen mac and cheese in each microwave, using the same brand and cook time. I checked for evenness and burnt or cold spots.Ease of use: I looked at how easy and intuitive the microwaves were to use, and how much space they occupied on my counter. I also evaluated how much noise they made during cooking and how loud and persistent their alarms and beeps were. Presets and additional functions: Where applicable, I used and tested each model's preset buttons according to the manufacturer's instructions. This included Popcorn, Reheat, Sensor Cook, and Keep Warm buttons. I evaluated how well these settings performed their intended function and how easy they were to use. How microwaves work Farima Ferguson/Insider While microwaves may seem mystifying to some, at their most basic, they're not much different than stoves, ovens, or grills in that they use energy to cook food. "Generally speaking, the process of putting energy into something is pretty much how we heat and cook all food, it just depends on how we do it (such as on the stove, in the sun, or with a microwave)," said Lodico. The difference is that microwaves generate energy in the form of electrical and magnetic rays. "Microwaves generate 'microwaves,' which is a form of electromagnetic radiation," Lodico said. "This electric field transfers energy to the food as the waves pass through it." The energy transfer causes water molecules in the food to vibrate, producing heat that cooks the food practically from the inside out. Because of this, foods that are high in water content, like potatoes or other fresh vegetables, cook much faster in the microwave than they do in other appliances, like the stove. What to look for in a microwave Farima Ferguson/Insider We consulted experts on what to look for when purchasing a microwave. Here are the major qualities you should consider:Power: The biggest consideration when shopping for a microwave is power. How much power you'll need depends on what you primarily use the microwave for. If your household is only using the microwave to reheat food, then you can look for a cheaper model with less wattage, said Schiffmann. "Around an 800-watt oven works [for reheating], and popular ones are between 800 to 1,000 watts," he said. Today, microwaves can do a lot more than just heat up cold food; they can defrost, cook, roast, bake, and more. If you want a microwave that actually cooks your food rather than simply reheating it, expect to spend a little more for a quality oven with more than 1,000 watts of power. Presets and additional functions: It's also worthwhile to consider how and when you typically use preset functions. Many consumers are fine primarily operating a microwave with the number pad or Express Cook buttons. However, if you're someone who does a lot of cooking or defrosting, you may find preset functions helpful.If you're in the market for a microwave that can also replace a toaster oven, opt for a model with convection settings, but keep in mind that this functionality often comes at a higher price and the technology can be hit or miss. Price: Schiffmann said you should expect to spend between $100 and $150 on a good 800 to 1,000-watt microwave, and a bit more as wattage increases. You'll also pay more for extra features, like convection settings or lots of presets. While Schiffmann says you don't have to spend a lot to get a quality microwave, he cautions about considering microwaves under $100. "Anything cheaper will most likely break down and be unstable," he said, so you're better off investing in a machine that costs a little more but will last longer. Safety features: If you have young children, you will want to purchase a microwave with a child-safety lock feature. "Many toddlers can get injured when reaching in the microwave, but many manufacturers have a digital lock now where you put in a combination of numbers to lock and unlock the microwave," Schiffmann said. Out of the microwaves we tested, all but the Commercial Chef microwave have the ability to lock itself. Note that this feature prevents the microwave oven from operating; it does not lock the microwave door.  Over-the-range versus countertop microwaves There are three types of microwaves: countertop, over-the-range, and built-in models. We only tested countertop microwaves for this guide. In general, microwave types are not interchangeable; an over-the-range microwave cannot be used on a countertop and vice versa because of their different ventilation systems. However, certain countertop models come with trim kits that allow them to be fitted as built-ins.Built-in microwaves don't need to be elevated for ventilation, but can be tucked into cabinets or under countertops to save space.Over-the-range microwaves are built into the wall above a cooktop with open space between the range and the microwave bottom. They offer more counter space, increase airflow, and often include underside lighting to illuminate your cooktop. Most models come with two venting options — you can install a ventilation duct to release air outside or the exhaust fan will clean the air and recirculate it into your kitchen. If your kitchen has poor airflow, the second option can help prevent smoke and cooking odors from filling up the room. Microwave FAQs Farima Ferguson/Insider Does standing near a microwave put me at risk for radiation exposure?You may have heard that standing too close to the microwave while it's operating can expose you to radiation, but according to experts, that's a myth. "Microwaves are very safe — as long as they aren't damaged," Lodico said. "The metal housing and mesh screen on the door act as a shield from the radiation that is generated inside. As the radiation approaches the wall of the microwave it induces a current and magnetic field that cancels out the incoming wave." While there was once some concern about operating a microwave if you have a pacemaker, the FDA says this is no longer an issue with modern pacemakers, though individuals with pacemakers should always check with their doctor first. Why are there holes in my microwave door?According to experts, these small holes are another safeguard against radiation, canceling out incoming electromagnetic waves just like the metal housing in the microwave does. Lodico said holes are only a concern if they're very large, which these intentional holes are not. "In fact, the holes on the door are actually 10 times smaller than what they theoretically need to be. But, it makes sense to make them smaller in case the door is damaged in some way," Lodico said. "Rule of thumb: If there is a hole in your microwave greater than three millimeters in diameter, it's time to get a new microwave."Should you defrost meat in the microwave?We've all been there: You forgot to put the frozen meat for dinner in the refrigerator to thaw out. The defrost feature on a microwave can come to the rescue. Defrosting sets your microwave's power between 30% to 50% so it thaws your food without cooking it. Although it's recommended to safely thaw meat in the refrigerator, you can use your microwave's defrost button to thaw meat in a pinch as long as you cook it immediately after you thaw it. According to the FDA, microwaves may heat food unevenly which could result in harmful bacteria growth if the food isn't cooked immediately after defrosting.While we know from the marshmallow test that many microwaves have natural hot and cold spots, defrosting presents an additional challenge for microwaves because the waves don't penetrate or heat frozen foods as effectively as thawed foods. "So there is a dilemma: once the meat starts to defrost somewhere, it will continue heating there. But the frozen parts will heat up more slowly, leading to non-uniform temperatures," said Schiffmann. "I break up the defrosted ground beef with a fork since it has usually softened, then I continue the defrost cycle for another minute or two, breaking up any softened, but completely melted parts."Schiffmann also said it's important when cooking or defrosting food in the microwave to keep an eye on food temperature. "When cooking your food, measure several places with a food thermometer to avoid undercooking or underheating," he said. According to the FDA, a safe final cooking temperature for poultry and ground beef is around 165 degrees while roasts and steaks are safe around 145 degrees.What foods should I cook in my microwave oven?"Microwave ovens are really poachers or steamers, so those foods that fit that profile do well," said Schiffmann. "They're great for cooking fish, vegetables, and chicken, but don't expect dry foods to crisp or brown." Any food with high water content does well in the microwave, like potatoes or fresh vegetables, and you can also use them as a shortcut when making boiled foods. For example, you can put dry pasta in a bowl of water and microwave for the cooking time on the pasta package. The pasta will cook perfectly and you don't even have to wait for the water to boil.  Check out our other small appliance buying guides Owen Burke/Insider The best toaster ovensThe best juicersThe best blendersThe best food processorsThe best espresso machines Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 5th, 2021

Year-End Outlook: Real Estate Braces for Inflation, Supply Chain Disruptions

Editor’s Note: RISMedia’s Year-End Outlook series provides an in-depth analysis of the housing market’s leading indicators for economic health, and showcases expert insights on what’s to come in 2022. Inflation is not normal right now—that is something no one is disputing. Core inflation was up 4% year-over-year last month, double what the Federal Reserve has […] The post Year-End Outlook: Real Estate Braces for Inflation, Supply Chain Disruptions appeared first on RISMedia. Editor’s Note: RISMedia’s Year-End Outlook series provides an in-depth analysis of the housing market’s leading indicators for economic health, and showcases expert insights on what’s to come in 2022. Inflation is not normal right now—that is something no one is disputing. Core inflation was up 4% year-over-year last month, double what the Federal Reserve has set as a target, and overall inflation hit an alarming 5.4% in September. Essential items like groceries, energy and rent have all spiked, causing concern across broad swaths of the economy. Though many pundits have disputed the Fed’s assertion that this inflation is “transitory,” economists and other experts who spoke to RISMedia predicted that barring catastrophic, unforeseen new developments or a significant regression in the fight against the pandemic, the current path of inflation will not immediately upend the real estate industry—though inventory issues make take some time to resolve and broader policy shifts could have long-term ramifications for housing. “I expect demand to remain strong,” says Nadia Evangelou, senior economist for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). “We expect to be at normal levels .” Amid a world-wide supply chain crunch and a historically hot housing market, the sharp rise in inflation is actually not even one of the biggest concerns for real estate professionals going forward. Delays in building new homes—something only partially attributable to inflation and the supply chain—is likely to have a larger impact and last longer, the economists say, even if the Fed misses its goal of 2% inflation by the middle of next year. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has indicated that the central bank will begin tapering its bond purchases starting as early as this year and could start raising interest rates if inflation remains at a concerning level, with more clarity expected following the board’s next meeting on Nov. 3. Matthew Gardner, chief economist for Seattle-based independent brokerage Windermere, says that the top-level data and inflation numbers are actually not offering an appropriate, contextual picture of what is going on. He adds that rather than looking at year-over-year numbers, using an annualized comparison to February of 2020—before the onset of the pandemic—can give a more accurate reading of current inflation concerns. “It is kind of silly to look at year-over-year comparisons because they’re not informative. And they’re not informative because, look at where we were last year,” he says. “If you go back to February of last year, the compounded annual growth rate is not 4%, it’s 3%.” “So that’s better, but it’s still not good,” he admits. If you subtract one of the most extreme outliers in price increases—namely used cars which have risen close to 30%—you can get the inflation rate down to about 2.2%. “Really not terrible,” he says. This angle might help reassure people who are worried that the country is on track for any kind of runaway hyper-inflation. But there are still many questions and uncertainties that will need to be resolved in the months ahead. Jeff Cohen is an economist and professor at the University of Connecticut. He says he is less convinced that inflation will simply return to the extremely stable pattern it has held over the last decade even once supply chain and pandemic disruptions are resolved—something that optimistically could happen by the end of next year. “That doesn’t mean it’s going to be gone forever,” he warns. The Fed’s plan is far from set in stone, Cohen says, and any prediction they have made publicly or any policy that is implemented could easily be dropped depending on the month-to-month progress of the economy and the pandemic. One of his biggest concerns is the rising cost of rentals, Cohen says, which he predicts will either continue their sharp increases seen over the last couple months or at best, flatten out. Pressure on the rental markets caused by competition and the market power of institutional investors will not be solved without policy shifts and big investments in affordable housing, according to Cohen. “I don’t see them going down in the near future, just because there is a national shortage of affordable housing,” he says. From a broader numbers standpoint, Gardner says he is slightly less optimistic about inflation compared to the Fed’s broad predictions (he advises the Philadelphia branch of the bank), predicting that core inflation will peak around 5% in the first quarter of next year and not reach the target of 2% or 2.5% until the end of 2022. This is not likely to deeply affect the real estate market, though, as even a moderate increase in interest rates will fail to dampen demand for homes. The resilience of the real estate market against even significant inflationary growth can be attributed both to the fundamental principle that real estate investment is a hedge against inflation, Gardner says, along with the particular (and unprecedented) current market conditions. Brooke Dalzell is the vice president of Minute Mortgage in Arizona. She says inflation does not so far seem to be influencing people one way or another and the demand for mortgages remains red-hot. The anticipation that the Fed will begin tapering bond purchases and increasing interest rates is also not causing any significant alarm among consumers, with refinances down but new mortgages holding steady. “From a purchase standpoint, I would say we are relatively stable,” she says. “People may see inflation rise so they may cut down on spending, but as far as mortgages—the only real relationship we see is between inflation and interest rates.” The Mortgage Bankers Association has predicted that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate will hit 4% by the end of 2022 based on strong economic growth and the Fed’s plans. Dalzell says that no one can know for certain exactly where the rate will fall, but even significant increases likely will not fully stymie demand for homes. “I think the real question will be how long will inflation stay where it’s at,” she says. Evangelou says she believes part of the reason demand will slow but not falter despite the effects of inflation is the current demographic of homebuyers, who are both inelastic and zealous in their desire for homes. “Millenials are the largest cohort of homebuyers…they have all these lifestyle needs,” she says. Even in the incredibly competitive (and often over-priced) market for buyers, millennials were still buying homes, according to Evangelou, and will remain eager to do so regardless of things like mortgage rate and the price of gas and cars—at least within reason. Matt Cohen is a real estate agent for Brown Harris Stevens, focused mostly on the luxury market in New York City. He says that in his market, many upper-middle-class families have been saving money and remain eager to flex their buying power as other luxury goods remain scarce. “They can’t spend money because things are sold out, or it’s going to take a year for it to come back, or furniture is eight months delayed,” he says. “The one thing that people can do even if there is low inventory is buy real estate.” Though the New York City luxury market might differ from much of the country, from that perspective of consumer confidence, Gardner agrees that inflation is unlikely to dissuade too many potential homebuyers. “Rising inflation is unlikely to offset demand given the expectation that mortgage rates are going to rise, and people just want to lock in that historically low rate if they haven’t already. The impacts are going to be felt in the new construction arena because of price,” he says. Construction and Hyperinflation If Fed policy and pandemic recovery is successful at calming the rate of inflation, that does not necessarily mean some of the pains that real estate is going through will be alleviated. The underlying cause—pandemic disruptions and specifically, a global supply chain meltdown—are not going to be solved on Wall Street or by the Fed. Some people have worried that the economy is on track for a scenario like what was seen in the late 1970s and early 80s, where the country reached double-digit “hyperinflation” sparked by an oil crisis and wartime spending. According to Gardner, the current situation is essentially nothing like that one. “There’s all manner of things that are different,” he says. “People see this and think we’re going back there again, and we’re not.” A large portion of the products, components and commodities that are squeezing prices higher have relatively short-term fixes, Gardner says. Either through corrections to the supply chain issues, or as other pandemic-related disruptions normalize, everything from computer chips to vegetables will start reaching stores or factories in (relatively) short order. This is in contrast to the late 1970s when the United States was heavily dependent on foreign oil and took a very different approach at the policy level. At the same time, Gardner says supply-chain issues are not going to be solved overnight, and even when they are, it might not immediately bring housing inventory to a level that can meet demand, which has been the most persistent problem of the last year or so for real estate. Labor shortages, regulatory fees, land costs and risk management are all going to hamper attempts by builders to put up enough homes to meet demand, according to Gardner, even if the price of lumber and other construction materials normalize. “There’s certainly a lot of impediments,” he says. The U.S. is at least 200,000 workers short in the home-building industry, he says. At the same time, a little-known census metric that measures the number of homes currently under construction (separate from “housing starts,” which have been down nearly the entire pandemic) is actually on the rise, which Gardner says could indicate the industry is maybe more on track to catch up in inventory. “So there’s a lot of different nuances to it. But simply speaking we’re still not building enough to meet demographically driven demand,” he admits. “I think there’s still a lot of pent-up demand that is still waiting on the sidelines.” Cohen says a recent drop in lumber prices can be seen as a “bright spot,” but warns that another very unpredictable and volatile metric on the rise—fuel costs—could quickly tighten pressure on builders even as other burdens are lifted. He also warns that acquiring land in certain markets, particularly in the west and northeast where the cost of land has always been extremely high and relatively inelastic, will prevent those areas from meeting demand—at least with traditional single-family homes. Likely builders will begin replacing traditional starter homes with multi-unit townhouses, condos or cluster developments, Cohen posits, which many local governments have facilitated by relaxing zoning restrictions. This is already happening in New England and can definitely help alleviate the housing crisis, he promises, but also creates problems of its own. “So that might be one way to resolve the supply issue in some ways, but not for the people who are looking for the starter home,” he says. “You can’t get into a bidding war like that , where the house is worth $500,000 but someone is offering $1.1 million because they’re just going to use the land to build a tremendous amount of units and then sell each one for $500,000.” Another new practice that is becoming more common due to supply shortages is people buying homes that have yet to be constructed—sometimes that haven’t even begun construction. Dalzell says she has seen that scenario become much more common in her market in Arizona, and Gardner says rising inflation—even short-lived inflation—could quickly create chaos for people involved in those transactions. “If my costs go up , I’m going to pass that directly on to you,” Gardner says. “I don’t know anyone that will want to buy a home when he’s not sure what the price is going to be.” Jesse Williams is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news ideas to jwilliams@rismedia.com. The post Year-End Outlook: Real Estate Braces for Inflation, Supply Chain Disruptions appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaOct 29th, 2021

3 Financial Skills for Investors Who Are Just Starting Out

When starting out, knowing how to manage your money can feel daunting. In this post, we will offer simple steps to help you begin taking control of your financial life. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Set Priorities And Goals When you get your first paycheck, it is easy to want to spend […] When starting out, knowing how to manage your money can feel daunting. In this post, we will offer simple steps to help you begin taking control of your financial life. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get Our Icahn eBook! Get our entire 10-part series on Carl Icahn and other famous investors in PDF for free! Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet or print it! Sign up below. NO SPAM EVER (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Set Priorities And Goals When you get your first paycheck, it is easy to want to spend it all right away, but what are all the things you should be putting your money toward with these limited resources? Strategies To Help You Save Regularly And Effectively Automatically direct a portion of your paycheck to your separate savings account. Studies show that if you don’t see the money, it makes it a lot easier to save. You can direct this money to building your emergency fund, paying down debt, and adding to your investment account. Allocate a certain percentage of every paycheck rather than a flat amount. That way, the contribution will go up when you get a salary increase. Many apps and platforms exist to help you save even more frequently and in a smarter way. These apps can help you work towards your goals. Establish an emergency fund. A good rule of thumb is to have 6 months of living expenses set aside. Keep your emergency funds in money market accounts or no-penalty CDs so that you can earn interest while your funds are stored safely away. This is where the concept of liquidity (readily accessible cash) is important – depending on what you’re saving for, you may want to keep certain funds in a vehicle where you can access them quickly and without penalty. Build & Monitor A Budget Creating and maintaining a budget is an essential part of financial health because it helps you set both limits and goals, stay on track with your savings, and monitor your expenses. To create a budget, we recommend focusing on the following: Calculate your monthly take home pay (after health insurance, taxes, retirement money). If you have more than one source of income, or receive irregular pay (i.e., bonuses, commission, etc.), you should also take that into account. Once you have your top line monthly income, you should gather a list of your fixed expenses, or the costs that stay the same each month (i.e., car insurance, rent, utilities, student loan payment, phone plan, and car payment). Next, estimate your monthly discretionary expenses, or the expenses that vary month-to-month (i.e., groceries, eating out, gas, travel, entertainment, buying clothes, and buying coffee). Subtract your fixed and discretionary expenses from your take home pay. This will tell you how much you have left at the end of the month (or overspend). To help you come up with the best estimate for the numbers above, we recommend going through your past credit card/debit card statements and totaling up each type of expense. Creating a budget is great, but it doesn’t mean much if you don’t continue to monitor your expenses each month. This can help you pinpoint areas in need of improvement, as well as locating ways to save more. For example, taking public transportation instead of calling an Uber, or making sure you are diligent about buying groceries instead of eating out frequently. To guide you through this process, there are lots of budgeting platforms and tools out there, many of which are free and easy to use. You can also create your own spreadsheet in excel. Budgeting helps you become more cost-conscious and leads to finding more creative ways to save. Master Debt & Credit Management Since debt is a common aspect of many young people’s financial life, sound cash flow management becomes even more important. When deciding whether to use your money to pay off debt or invest, consider the cost of debt and the current market environment. Make sure you understand the concept of opportunity cost - money put towards one goal has a cost of not being applied elsewhere. For example, if your student loan rate is 7%, the markets are returning 5%, and your mortgage is a fixed 3%, you should prioritize payments on the student loans and then consider investing in the markets, as it is expected to return more than the interest cost of your mortgage. Next Steps & Advanced Planning Considerations Employer retirement programs. We always encourage participation in 401(k)s and other retirement plans to the greatest extent possible, as they are powerful tax-deferred savings vehicles that may include attractive company match programs. However, there is such a thing as over-allocating if it puts you in a bind and forces you to take actions we discourage, such as borrowing from the plan. Insurance. Analyzing insurance options on your own can be very confusing, and there is a sense of general distrust when it comes to dealing with insurance companies. But insurance is absolutely critical for some situations, particularly for young families. Many employers offer group benefits which can be a great place to start. Estate Planning. Estate planning is not just for the wealthy. Understanding what happens to you and your assets in situations of death or debilitation is very important. How We Work with Someone Who is Just Starting Out Developing strong financial skills as a young adult can set off a chain reaction. If you take a disciplined approach to your financial life, you can pay down debt faster and have more money set aside for investments. Once you have built up enough money to start investing, it is important to consider what method might be right for you. Due to the major technological innovations within the financial industry in recent years, low-cost digital planning solutions are more accessible than ever. We launched Wealthspire Pathways, an offering of this nature, to enable us to provide our fundamental services for a competitive fee to clients who are tech-friendly and planning-focused. Regardless of the investing path you choose, the earlier you begin to put money away in savings and investments, the more growth potential lies ahead. All in all, these principles of money management should make for a bright future built upon knowledge, healthy financial habits, and confidence in your ability to be the steward of your own wealth. For further reading we recommend “The Millionaire Next Door,” which points out that the truly wealthy are not the ones who live lavish lifestyles, but the ones who live right next door, drive used cars, and save and invest their wealth. About the Author Emily Platt, CFP®, Senior Associate, Investments, joined Wealthspire Advisors as a client associate in 2017 after completing her undergraduate degree in Finance at James Madison University. In November 2018, Emily transitioned to an internal investment role, supporting the firm’s Chief Investment Officer. As a member of this team, Emily is focusing on asset allocation, manager research and due diligence. Wealthspire Advisors LLC is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary company of NFP Corp. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner, and CFP® (with plaque design) in the United States, which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. This information should not be construed as a recommendation, offer to sell, or solicitation of an offer to buy a particular security or investment strategy. The commentary provided is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for accounting, legal, or tax advice. While the information is deemed reliable, Wealthspire Advisors cannot guarantee its accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose, and makes no warranties with regard to the results to be obtained from its use. ©2021 Wealthspire Advisors Updated on Oct 22, 2021, 12:28 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkOct 22nd, 2021

Split Decision: The Who, When and Why of Commission Negotiations

How much are you worth to your brokerage, as an agent? As a broker, how much are your agents worth to you? Beyond the very important, but less quantifiable aspects of this calculation—culture, branding and networking—there are the hard numbers behind compensation. How much money goes back into your pocket (as an agent), and how… The post Split Decision: The Who, When and Why of Commission Negotiations appeared first on RISMedia. How much are you worth to your brokerage, as an agent? As a broker, how much are your agents worth to you? Beyond the very important, but less quantifiable aspects of this calculation—culture, branding and networking—there are the hard numbers behind compensation. How much money goes back into your pocket (as an agent), and how much production an agent brings to your team (as a broker or leader) will often be the primary factor deciding the success of an agent-broker partnership. In RISMedia’s 2022 Contract and Commission Study, one important discovery was that agents and brokers are simply not discussing this vital aspect of their relationship. While commission splits were identified as the most important factor in an agent’s career, a vast majority of agents (72%) say they have only negotiated it one or two times ever, and a staggering 38% have never negotiated at all. The first question, of course, is why aren’t agents negotiating when doing so can potentially advance such a vital and tangible part of their careers? But beyond that, what other pain points can be traced back to a dearth of contract negotiations? What can brokers do proactively to make sure agents don’t duck out as soon as they are offered a (potentially) more lucrative contract? Lila McCann is an agent with MW Real Estate, a smaller, boutique brokerage in Nashville, Tennessee. She says she initially left MW in 2020, unhappy with her bottom line as she sought to support a growing family. “COVID hit, and I was still a new agent, and my volume wasn’t incredibly high. And so that commission split was hurting my income just because things were slower,” she says. “Rather than…having the conversation of, ‘Hey, can we work together on this so it’s more beneficial for me as an agent,’ I didn’t. I moved.” Less than a year later, however, McCann’s former broker reached back out to ask if she wanted to come back—a call she was happy to take, having loved the culture of MW during her time there. That was when they finally had the conversation about what the company could do to ensure she was happy and successful. “At that point, I was like, well, If I come back, I need to negotiate,” she said. “I think the biggest takeaway is you’re never going to get anything different than what you’re offered unless you ask for it.” Who wants it McCann does not say explicitly whether the terms of her contract at MW were different when she returned, only that there was a “little bit of leeway” in the negotiation. She now has a new title—director of agent development—and is thriving, she says. “For me it came from a totally different place, it wasn’t really so much about negotiating my money,” McCann explains. “I knew based on my volume, the numbers worked regardless—but also, just advocating for myself. And I think that’s something agents are afraid to do.” In that case, either McCann or her broker at MW could likely have saved both parties some time, stress and potentially money by starting that conversation sooner. Even when the numbers don’t work out, it can’t hurt to ask, McCann argues. For Angelo Acierno, a high-volume agent for Keller Williams in rural eastern New York, the numbers are always a big factor. Deliberately grinding until he was a top agent with a maxed-out 90/10 split, Acierno says he eventually started looking for a new team where he could grow even more. “ bumped me down to 80/20,” he says. “And I tried to fight for 85 or 90 and they didn’t give it to me.” Acierno says he still ended up joining the team, but now, a few years later, he is on the move again—jetting off to Miami, Florida, to potentially start his own team, where he has already negotiated a higher starting split and is hoping (and expecting) that his all-in attitude and work ethic will be more appreciated and better positioned to produce. “You could put me anywhere,” Acierno says. “You could put me in a box, and I’ll try to cut a hole in it and say, ‘Hey do you wanna see what’s inside the box for 25 cents?’ Not everybody thinks like that.” In the end, this seems to have worked out for Acierno, who says he is excited to move down south where he has been promised more leads and will be able to explore investment opportunities. At the same time, though, his previous teams lost a driven and productive agent, and he says there were no real attempts by anyone to reach out to him about compensation or really anything else. Brooke Sines, a team leader for RE/MAX in Grand Rapids, Michigan says that there are ways for brokers or team leads to start a dialogue. Transparency, communication and incentives can frame conversations around compensation, she argues, which can keep agents happy and help brokers hold on to their bigger producers. “Once you actually advise and show them the numbers that you’re spending on a monthly basis, all of the sudden their eyes are wide open,” Sines says. “So I can say, if you’re on my team, before you even make one home sale I’m spending $7,000 a month on you alone as an agent. And to me, that changes perspectives.” Focusing on just the top-line number in a contract can often mislead agents, Sines claims. They may be lured by a higher split and jump ship to another brokerage, only to find out they are spending a significant portion of their income (or time) on new fees, lead generation, transaction coordination, tech or other services. “Some agents are just fixated on that split,” she says. Rudy Kusuma, CEO and owner of Your Home Sold Guaranteed Real Estate in the Los Angeles, California region, offers an unusual split for essentially all agents in his company: 50/50, straight up. But he has successfully recruited agents who were either working for or were offered much higher splits—almost entirely due to how his company brings transactions to agents, he claims, investing heavily in “reverse prospecting” rather than chasing leads and setting up high-conversion face-to-face client appointments. Ostensibly, this means agents are able to close far more transactions than they would at other brokerages, and will make more money despite the lower split. “This is like real, legitimate, five-million-dollar deals,” Kusuma describes. “As far as company-generated deals go, either you take it or you just don’t take it, because we have to cover all of our hard costs.” Kristi Ramirez-Knowles joined Your Home Sold Guaranteed despite having previously worked for a much higher split. One brokerage offered 100% commission but charged “exorbitant” fees, she explains, while another simply didn’t match her philosophy, offering limited support (even with a 90/10 split). “It still wasn’t generating the business I wanted,” she says. In this case, it wasn’t a higher split that moved Ramirez-Knowles, but instead, Kusuma’s commitment to supporting her personally as well as through all of Your Home Sold Guaranteed’s other services, which have significantly raised her bottom line (her GCI is approaching $350,000 already this year, she says). Before joining Your Home Sold Guaranteed, Ramirez-Knowles says she did have a frank conversation with her previous broker, who she thought was probably expecting the news that she was leaving. “We’re still good friends,” she says. “But he knew that I wanted to grow my business at a different speed in a different way. And yeah, GCI is important.” Getting more So why do agents not talk about compensation or splits (or wait until they’re already on the way out), and why don’t brokers start conversations if they really want to retain agents? As far as how brokers approach the issue, Acierno offers a frank assessment. “If you’re making them money, then they want to keep you so they’ll give you a little bit ,” he says. Sines provides a broadly different perspective, saying that in real estate it is the agent that holds the negotiating power from day one, and brokerages and companies are responsible for making an attractive offer. “We’ve had a lot of agents in the past five years come into the industry,” she notes. “I think they come into this industry thinking that they’re being interviewed by the brokerage, to be hired. And in reality, it’s the opposite. They are actually interviewing that brokerage on whether or not they want to give them the money and be a part of their culture and their brokerage.” Sines says she sends out a quarterly survey where members of her team can talk about what they’re happy with or not happy with, including broad questions on work-life balance as well as expenses and training. Happy hours and monthly one-on-ones are also opportunities to find out proactively how an agent is feeling about the team and the brokerage. From the agent’s side, McCann says it isn’t always easy to broach the subject, but that an awareness of both the personal aspects of your relationship and a grasp of the numbers can help you advocate for yourself in a way that is most likely to be productive. “I think that’s something that agents are afraid to do,” she said. “It’s a matter of just going for it—if you’re expecting a no, then it’s fine. If you can get something else out of it that benefits you as an agent or benefits your finances, it’s worth it.” Donna Yu, a relatively new agent at Your Home Sold Guaranteed, started with a larger brokerage which she chose at least partly because of the good split. Unhappy with training and a lack of leads, she went to her broker and asked for more support. Yu says she got a mostly dismissive response, told that she shouldn’t expect more than one or two transactions a month. At around the same time, though, Yu had reached out to Kusuma on social media, and she says his much more upbeat, encouraging response affirming her goals helped convince her to jump to his company. “I’m very aggressive, if you give me something I’m going to take care of it in like one week. is just not giving me anything,” she explains. is just very up front, like, the sharing here is 50/50, we’re going to give you leads, we’re going to connect you with real buyers.” Around 15 years ago, Kusuma says he had a group of agents come to him and try to negotiate a different split while still receiving the same support. He said no, and those agents ended up leaving the company, after which (Kusuma claims) they never achieved the same production. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other options. Though he remains adamant that the 50/50 split is fair when factoring in all the services he provides, Kusuma says he offers “entrepreneurial” agents the chance to spin off their own teams and keep a bigger split, though with a totally different model and no lead generation. That kind of flexibility is something that hopefully can preserve the relationship between him as a company owner and agents who have different mentalities or priorities. “If wants to generate her own deals, we have a different model,” he says. One of those flexible models includes incentives, where agents get to keep more commission based on the amount of money they make in a time period—similar to a cap, but with multiple tiers. Sines says she offers something similar, adding that baking in a structure that rewards higher-performing agents is a great way to let people push themselves and guide their own goals while remaining within a company or team. It also prevents resentment within the team or brokerage, for scenarios where different agents are receiving different splits. “I think it’s all about setting expectations,” she says. “Making it fair across the board…expectations are set from day one.” While the hard numbers clearly remain a singular, primary factor for many or even most agents, McCann argues that it is impossible to fully separate other, less quantifiable needs when looking at what motivates them to ask or look for something more. Seeing money not as a separate item but as integrated with everything you need or deserve is the best way to approach the decision to negotiate (or leave), she says, and even when splits are the primary item, agents need to consider every aspect of what their broker can do—or is doing—for them. “I think it’s so dependent on what you need as a human and as an agent, and where the brokerage adds value. And those are all things you have to take into consideration,” McCann says. The full RISMedia Contract and Commission Study, available only to RISMedia Premier members, can be accessed here. The post Split Decision: The Who, When and Why of Commission Negotiations appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaJun 27th, 2022

Everybody"s Guilty: To The Police State, We"re All Criminals Until We Prove Otherwise

Everybody's Guilty: To The Police State, We're All Criminals Until We Prove Otherwise Authored by John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute, “In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught.” - Hunter S. Thompson The burden of proof has been reversed. No longer are we presumed innocent. Now we’re presumed guilty unless we can prove our innocence beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Rarely, are we even given the opportunity to do so. Although the Constitution requires the government to provide solid proof of criminal activity before it can deprive a citizen of life or liberty, the government has turned that fundamental assurance of due process on its head. Each and every one of us is now seen as a potential suspect, terrorist and lawbreaker in the eyes of the government. Consider all the ways in which “we the people” are now treated as criminals, found guilty of violating the police state’s abundance of laws, and preemptively stripped of basic due process rights. Red flag gun confiscation laws: Gun control legislation, especially in the form of red flag gun laws, allow the police to remove guns from people “suspected” of being threats. These laws, growing in popularity as a legislative means by which to seize guns from individuals viewed as a danger to themselves or others, will put a target on the back of every American whether or not they own a weapon. Disinformation eradication campaigns. In recent years, the government has used the phrase “domestic terrorist” interchangeably with “anti-government,” “extremist” and “terrorist” to describe anyone who might fall somewhere on a very broad spectrum of viewpoints that could be considered “dangerous.” The ramifications are so far-reaching as to render almost every American an extremist in word, deed, thought or by association. In the government’s latest assault on those who criticize the government—whether that criticism manifests itself in word, deed or thought—the Biden Administration has likened those who share “false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis- dis- and mal-information” to terrorists. This latest government salvo against consumers and spreaders of “mis- dis- and mal-information” widens the net to potentially include anyone who is exposed to ideas that run counter to the official government narrative. In other words, if you dare to subscribe to any views that are contrary to the government’s, you may well be suspected of being a domestic terrorist and treated accordingly. In this way, government and corporate censors claiming to protect us from dangerous, disinformation campaigns are, in fact, laying the groundwork now to preempt any “dangerous” ideas that might challenge the power elite’s stranglehold over our lives. Government watch lists. The FBI, CIA, NSA and other government agencies have increasingly invested in corporate surveillance technologies that can mine constitutionally protected speech on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in order to identify potential extremists and predict who might engage in future acts of anti-government behavior. Where many Americans go wrong is in naively assuming that you have to be doing something illegal or harmful in order to be flagged and targeted for some form of intervention or detention. In fact, all you need to do these days to end up on a government watch list or be subjected to heightened scrutiny is use certain trigger words (like cloud, pork and pirates), surf the internet, communicate using a cell phone, limp or stutter, drive a car, stay at a hotel, attend a political rally, express yourself on social media, appear mentally ill, serve in the military, disagree with a law enforcement official, call in sick to work, purchase materials at a hardware store, take flying or boating lessons, appear suspicious, appear confused or nervous, fidget or whistle or smell bad, be seen in public waving a toy gun or anything remotely resembling a gun (such as a water nozzle or a remote control or a walking cane), stare at a police officer, question government authority, or appear to be pro-gun or pro-freedom. Thought crimes. For years now, the government has used all of the weapons in its vast arsenal—surveillance, threat assessments, fusion centers, pre-crime programs, hate crime laws, militarized police, lockdowns, martial law, etc.—to target potential enemies of the state based on their ideologies, behaviors, affiliations and other characteristics that might be deemed suspicious or dangerous. It’s not just what you say or do that is being monitored, but how you think that is being tracked and targeted. There’s a whole spectrum of behaviors ranging from thought crimes and hate speech to whistleblowing that qualifies for persecution (and prosecution) by the Deep State. It’s a slippery slope from censoring so-called illegitimate ideas to silencing truth. Security checkpoints and fusion centers. By treating an entire populace as suspect, the government has justified wide-ranging security checkpoints that subject travelers to scans, searches, pat downs and other indignities by the TSA and VIPR raids on so-called “soft” targets like shopping malls and bus depots by black-clad, Darth Vader look-alikes. Fusion centers, which represent the combined surveillance efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement, track the citizenry’s movements, record their conversations, and catalogue their transactions. Surveillance, precrime programs. Facial recognition software aims to create a society in which every individual who steps out into public is tracked and recorded as they go about their daily business. Coupled with surveillance cameras that blanket the country, facial recognition technology allows the government and its corporate partners to warrantlessly identify and track someone’s movements in real-time, whether or not they have committed a crime. Rapid advances in behavioral surveillance are not only making it possible for individuals to be monitored and tracked based on their patterns of movement or behavior, including gait recognition (the way one walks), but have given rise to whole industries that revolve around predicting one’s behavior based on data and surveillance patterns and are also shaping the behaviors of whole populations. With the increase in precrime programs, threat assessments, AI algorithms and surveillance programs such as SpotShotter, which attempt to calculate where illegal activity might occur by triangulating sounds and images, the burden of proof has been turned on its head by a surveillance state that renders us all suspects and overcriminalization which renders us all lawbreakers. Mail surveillance. Just about every branch of the government—from the Postal Service to the Treasury Department and every agency in between—now has its own surveillance sector, authorized to spy on the American people. For instance, the U.S. Postal Service, which has been photographing the exterior of every piece of paper mail for the past 20 years, is also spying on Americans’ texts, emails and social media posts. Headed up by the Postal Service’s law enforcement division, the Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP) is reportedly using facial recognition technology, combined with fake online identities, to ferret out potential troublemakers with “inflammatory” posts. The agency claims the online surveillance, which falls outside its conventional job scope of processing and delivering paper mail, is necessary to help postal workers avoid “potentially volatile situations.” Threat assessments and AI algorithms. The government has a growing list—shared with fusion centers and law enforcement agencies—of ideologies, behaviors, affiliations and other characteristics that could flag someone as suspicious and result in their being labeled potential enemies of the state. Before long, every household in America will be flagged as a threat and assigned a threat score. It’s just a matter of time before you find yourself wrongly accused, investigated and confronted by police based on a data-driven algorithm or risk assessment culled together by a computer program run by artificial intelligence. No-knock raids. No-knock, no-announce SWAT team raids are what passes for court-sanctioned policing in America today, and it could happen to any one of us. Nationwide, SWAT teams routinely invade homes, break down doors, kill family pets (they always shoot the dogs first), damage furnishings, terrorize families, and wound or kill those unlucky enough to be present during a raid. No longer reserved exclusively for deadly situations, SWAT teams are now increasingly being deployed for relatively routine police matters such as serving a search warrant, with some SWAT teams being sent out as much as five times a day. Police carry out tens of thousands of no-knock raids every year nationwide. Militarized police. America is overrun with militarized cops—vigilantes with a badge—who have almost absolute discretion to decide who is a threat, what constitutes resistance, and how harshly they can deal with the citizens they were appointed to “serve and protect.” It doesn’t matter where you live—big city or small town—it’s the same scenario being played out over and over again in which government agents, trained to act as judge, jury and executioner in their interactions with the public, ride roughshod over the rights of the citizenry. This is how we have gone from a nation of laws—where the least among us had just as much right to be treated with dignity and respect as the next person (in principle, at least)—to a nation of law enforcers (revenue collectors with weapons) who treat “we the people” like suspects and criminals. Constitution-free zones. Merely living within 100 miles inland of the border around the United States is now enough to make you a suspect, paving the way for Border Patrol agents to search people’s homes, intimately probe their bodies, and rifle through their belongings, all without a warrant. Nearly 66% of Americans (2/3 of the U.S. population, 197.4 million people) now live within that 100-mile-deep, Constitution-free zone. Asset forfeiture schemes. Americans no longer have a right to private property. If government agents can invade your home, break down your doors, kill your dog, damage your furnishings and terrorize your family, your property is no longer private and secure—it belongs to the government. Hard-working Americans are having their bank accounts, homes, cars electronics and cash seized by police under the assumption that they have been associated with some criminal scheme. As libertarian Harry Browne observed, “Asset forfeiture is a mockery of the Bill of Rights. There is no presumption of innocence, no need to prove you guilty (or even charge you with a crime), no right to a jury trial, no right to confront your accuser, no right to a court-appointed attorney (even if the government has just stolen all your money), and no right to compensation for the property that's been taken.” Vehicle kill switches. Sold to the public as a safety measure aimed at keeping drunk drivers off the roads, “vehicle kill switches” could quickly become a convenient tool in the hands of government agents to put the government in the driver’s seat while rendering null and void the Constitution’s requirements of privacy and its prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures. As such, it presumes every driver potentially guilty of breaking some law that would require the government to intervene and take over operation of the vehicle or shut it off altogether. The message: we cannot be trusted to obey the law or navigate the world on our end. Bodily integrity. The government’s presumptions about our so-called guilt or innocence have extended down to our very cellular level. The debate over bodily integrity covers broad territory, ranging from forced vaccinations, forced cavity searches, forced colonoscopies, forced blood draws and forced breath-alcohol tests to forced DNA extractions, forced eye scans, and forced inclusion in biometric databases: these are just a few ways in which Americans continue to be reminded that we have no real privacy, no real presumption of innocence, and no real control over what happens to our bodies during an encounter with government officials. The groundwork being laid with these mandates is a prologue to what will become the police state’s conquest of a new, relatively uncharted, frontier: inner space, specifically, the inner workings (genetic, biological, biometric, mental, emotional) of the human race. “Guilt by association” has taken on new connotations in the technological age. Yet the debate over genetic privacy—and when one’s DNA becomes a public commodity outside the protection of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on warrantless searches and seizures—is really only beginning. Get ready, folks, because the government has embarked on a diabolical campaign to create a nation of suspects predicated on a massive national DNA database. Limitations on our right to move about freely. We think we have the freedom to go where we want and move about freely, but at every turn, we’re hemmed in by laws, fines and penalties that regulate and restrict our autonomy, and surveillance cameras that monitor our movements. For instance, license plate readers are mass surveillance tools that can photograph over 1,800 license tag numbers per minute, take a picture of every passing license tag number and store the tag number and the date, time, and location of the picture in a searchable database, then share the data with law enforcement, fusion centers and private companies to track the movements of persons in their cars. With tens of thousands of these license plate readers now in operation throughout the country, police can track vehicles and run the plates through law enforcement databases for abducted children, stolen cars, missing people and wanted fugitives. Of course, the technology is not infallible: there have been numerous incidents in which police have mistakenly relied on license plate data to capture suspects only to end up detaining innocent people at gunpoint. The war on cash and the introduction of digital currency. Digital currency provides the government and its corporate partners with a mode of commerce that can easily be monitored, tracked, tabulated, mined for data, hacked, hijacked and confiscated when convenient. This push for a digital currency dovetails with the government’s war on cash, which it has been subtly waging for some time now. In recent years, just the mere possession of significant amounts of cash could implicate you in suspicious activity and label you a criminal. The rationale (by police) is that cash is the currency for illegal transactions given that it’s harder to track, can be used to pay illegal immigrants, and denies the government its share of the “take,” so doing away with paper money will help law enforcement fight crime and help the government realize more revenue. A cashless society—easily monitored, controlled, manipulated, weaponized and locked down—plays right into the hands of the government (and its corporate partners). The Security-Industrial Complex. Every crisis—manufactured or otherwise—since the nation’s early beginnings has become a make-work opportunity for the government to expand its reach and its power at taxpayer expense while limiting our freedoms at every turn. What this has amounted to is a war on the American people, fought on American soil, funded with taxpayer dollars, and waged with a single-minded determination to use national crises, manufactured or otherwise, in order to transform the American homeland into a battlefield. As a result, the American people have been treated like enemy combatants, to be spied on, tracked, scanned, frisked, searched, subjected to all manner of intrusions, intimidated, invaded, raided, manhandled, censored, silenced, shot at, locked up, denied due process, and killed. These programs push us that much closer towards a suspect society where everyone is potentially guilty of some crime or another and must be preemptively rendered harmless. The ramifications of empowering the government to sidestep fundamental due process safeguards are so chilling and so far-reaching as to put a target on the back of anyone who happens to be in the same place where a crime takes place. The groundwork has been laid for a new kind of government where it won’t matter if you’re innocent or guilty, whether you’re a threat to the nation, or even if you’re a citizen. What will matter is what the government—or whoever happens to be calling the shots at the time—thinks. And if the powers-that-be think you’re a threat to the nation and should be locked up, then you’ll be locked up with no access to the protections our Constitution provides. In effect, you will disappear. As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, our freedoms are already being made to disappear. Tyler Durden Fri, 06/24/2022 - 23:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJun 24th, 2022

Will Earnings Estimates Finally Come Down?

Part of the uncertainty in the market at present is related to how earnings estimates should evolve in an aggressive Fed tightening cycle. The market has a sense of what should happen to earnings estimates, but it isn't seeing much of that just yet. Note: The following is an excerpt from this week’s Earnings Trends report. You can access the full report that contains detailed historical actual and estimates for the current and following periods, please click here>>>Here are the key points: For 2022 Q2, total S&P 500 earnings are expected to increase +2.1% from the same period last year on +9.6% higher revenues and net margin compression of 95 basis points. Excluding the hefty contribution from the Energy sector, total Q2 earnings for the rest of the S&P 500 index are expected to be down -5.2% on +7.4% higher revenues. Q2 Earnings estimates for the index as a whole are only modestly down since the start of the quarter, but they are down significantly on an ex-Energy basis. Looking at the calendar-year picture, total S&P 500 earnings are expected to be up +8.9% in 2022 and +9.0% in 2023. On an ex-Energy basis, total 2022 index earnings would be up +3.6% (instead of +8.9%, with Energy). Part of the uncertainty in the market at present is related to how earnings estimates should evolve in an aggressive Fed tightening cycle. The market has a sense of what should happen to earnings estimates, but it isn’t seeing much of that just yet.The natural order of things is that rising interest rates take the edge off of aggregate demand, causing the economy to start cooling off. Businesses start experiencing this changed ground reality in their normal operations, which shows up in their quarterly numbers and management’s guidance.We have started seeing some of that already. For example, recent comments from homebuilder Lennar LEN about the difficulty in providing its next-quarter outlook in a fast-evolving interest rate environment shows that this interest rate-sensitive part of the economy has already started to respond to Fed tightening.We also heard recently from Microsoft MSFT and Salesforce CRM about the negative impact a strong U.S. dollar is having on their current quarter results. Earlier we saw a host of retailers, including Target TGT, Walmart WMT and others come out with quarterly numbers that were weighed down by ongoing macroeconomic drivers like inflation, supply-chain issues and moderating/shifting consumer spending trends.It is way too early to tell how much estimates will eventually come down. As you can see in the chart below, estimates have hardly come down for Q2.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchA big reason for that ‘stability’ in the aggregate is what’s happening to Energy sector estimates, with rising earnings estimates for Energy companies offsetting declining estimates for others.You can see that in the chart below which reproduces the aggregative revisions trend on an ex-Energy basis.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWe have a similar trend at play with estimates for the full year 2022.Beyond Q2, the growth picture is expected to modestly improve, as you can see in the chart below that provides a big-picture view of earnings on a quarterly basis.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe chart below shows the overall earnings picture on an annual basis, with the growth momentum expected to continue.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThere is a rising degree of uncertainty about the outlook, reflecting a lack of macroeconomic visibility in a backdrop of Fed monetary policy tightening.The Ukraine situation is exacerbating pre-existing supply-chain issues, which combined with its impact on oil prices, is weighing on the inflation situation in hard-to-predict ways. The evolving earnings revisions trend will reflect this macro backdrop. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report Salesforce Inc. (CRM): Free Stock Analysis Report Target Corporation (TGT): Free Stock Analysis Report Walmart Inc. (WMT): Free Stock Analysis Report Lennar Corporation (LEN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 22nd, 2022

Will Earnings Estimates Finally Come Down?

Part of the uncertainty in the market at present is related to how earnings estimates should evolve in an aggressive Fed tightening cycle. The market has a sense of what should happen to earnings estimates, but it isn't seeing much of that just yet. Note: The following is an excerpt from this week’s Earnings Trends report. You can access the full report that contains detailed historical actual and estimates for the current and following periods, please click here>>>Here are the key points: For 2022 Q2, total S&P 500 earnings are expected to increase +2.1% from the same period last year on +9.6% higher revenues and net margin compression of 95 basis points. Excluding the hefty contribution from the Energy sector, total Q2 earnings for the rest of the S&P 500 index are expected to be down -5.2% on +7.4% higher revenues. Q2 Earnings estimates for the index as a whole are only modestly down since the start of the quarter, but they are down significantly on an ex-Energy basis. Looking at the calendar-year picture, total S&P 500 earnings are expected to be up +8.9% in 2022 and +9.0% in 2023. On an ex-Energy basis, total 2022 index earnings would be up +3.6% (instead of +8.9%, with Energy). Part of the uncertainty in the market at present is related to how earnings estimates should evolve in an aggressive Fed tightening cycle. The market has a sense of what should happen to earnings estimates, but it isn’t seeing much of that just yet.The natural order of things is that rising interest rates take the edge off of aggregate demand, causing the economy to start cooling off. Businesses start experiencing this changed ground reality in their normal operations, which shows up in their quarterly numbers and management’s guidance.We have started seeing some of that already. For example, recent comments from homebuilder Lennar LEN about the difficulty in providing its next-quarter outlook in a fast-evolving interest rate environment shows that this interest rate-sensitive part of the economy has already started to respond to Fed tightening.We also heard recently from Microsoft MSFT and Salesforce CRM about the negative impact a strong U.S. dollar is having on their current quarter results. Earlier we saw a host of retailers, including Target TGT, Walmart WMT and others come out with quarterly numbers that were weighed down by ongoing macroeconomic drivers like inflation, supply-chain issues and moderating/shifting consumer spending trends.It is way too early to tell how much estimates will eventually come down. As you can see in the chart below, estimates have hardly come down for Q2.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchA big reason for that ‘stability’ in the aggregate is what’s happening to Energy sector estimates, with rising earnings estimates for Energy companies offsetting declining estimates for others.You can see that in the chart below which reproduces the aggregative revisions trend on an ex-Energy basis.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWe have a similar trend at play with estimates for the full year 2022.Beyond Q2, the growth picture is expected to modestly improve, as you can see in the chart below that provides a big-picture view of earnings on a quarterly basis.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe chart below shows the overall earnings picture on an annual basis, with the growth momentum expected to continue.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThere is a rising degree of uncertainty about the outlook, reflecting a lack of macroeconomic visibility in a backdrop of Fed monetary policy tightening.The Ukraine situation is exacerbating pre-existing supply-chain issues, which combined with its impact on oil prices, is weighing on the inflation situation in hard-to-predict ways. The evolving earnings revisions trend will reflect this macro backdrop. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report Salesforce Inc. (CRM): Free Stock Analysis Report Target Corporation (TGT): Free Stock Analysis Report Walmart Inc. (WMT): Free Stock Analysis Report Lennar Corporation (LEN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 22nd, 2022

These 44 pitch decks helped fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. New twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series APersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalG 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of TulipshareTulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundHelping small banks lendTKCollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed roundA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BAn alternative auto lenderTricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investors A new way to access credit The TomoCredit teamTomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingQuantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series AHelping fintechs manage dataProper Finance co-founders Travis Gibson (left) and Kyle MaloneyProper FinanceAs the flow of data becomes evermore crucial for fintechs, from the strappy startup to the established powerhouse, a thorny issue in the back office is becoming increasingly complex.Even though fintechs are known for their sleek front ends, the back end is often quite the opposite. Behind that streamlined interface can be a mosaic of different partner integrations — be it with banks, payments players and networks, or software vendors — with a channel of data running between them. Two people who know that better than the average are Kyle Maloney and Travis Gibson, two former employees of Marqeta, a fintech that provides other fintechs with payments processing and card issuance. "Take an established neobank for example. They'll likely have one or two card issuers, two to three bank partners, ACH processing for direct deposits and payouts, mobile check deposits, peer-to-peer payments, and lending," Gibson told Insider. Here's the 12-page pitch deck a startup helping fintechs manage their data used to score a $4.3 million seed from investors like Redpoint Ventures and Y CombinatorE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series AShopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy VoProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series ADeploying algorithms and automation to small-business financingJustin Straight and Bernard Worthy, LoanWell co-foundersLoanWellBernard Worthy and Justin Straight, the founders of LoanWell, want to break down barriers to financing for small and medium-size businesses — and they've got algorithms and automation in their tech arsenals that they hope will do it.Worthy, the company's CEO, and Straight, its chief operating and financial officer, are powering community-focused lenders to fill a gap in the SMB financing world by boosting access to loans under $100,000. And the upstart is known for catching the attention, and dollars, of mission-driven investors. LoanWell closed a $3 million seed financing round in December led by Impact America Fund with participation from SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund and Collab Capital.LoanWell automates the financing process — from underwriting and origination, to money movement and servicing — which shaves down an up-to-90-day process to 30 days or even same-day with some LoanWell lenders, Worthy said. SMBs rely on these loans to process quickly after two years of financial uncertainty. But the pandemic illustrated how time-consuming and expensive SMB financing can be, highlighted by efforts like the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.Community banks, once the lifeline to capital for many local businesses, continue to shutter. And demands for smaller loan amounts remain largely unmet. More than half of business-loan applicants sought $100,000 or less, according to 2018 data from the Federal Reserve. But the average small-business bank loan was closer to six times that amount, according to the latest data from a now discontinued Federal Reserve survey.Here's the 14-page pitch deck LoanWell used to raise $3 million from investors like SoftBank.Branded cards for SMBsJennifer Glaspie-Lundstrom is the cofounder and CEO of Tandym.TandymJennifer Glaspie-Lundstrom is no stranger to the private-label credit-card business. As a former Capital One exec, she worked in both the card giant's co-brand partnerships division and its tech organization during her seven years at the company.Now, Glaspie-Lundstrom is hoping to use that experience to innovate a sector that was initially created in malls decades ago.Glaspie-Lundstrom is the cofounder and CEO of Tandym, which offers private-label digital credit cards to merchants. Store and private-label credit cards aren't a new concept, but Tandym is targeting small- and medium-sized merchants with less than $1 billion in annual revenue. Glaspie-Lundstrom said that group often struggles to offer private-label credit due to the expense of working with legacy players."What you have is this example of a very valuable product type that merchants love and their customers love, but a huge, untapped market that has heretofore been unserved, and so that's what we're doing with Tandym," Glaspi-Lundstrom told Insider.A former Capital One exec used this deck to raise $60 million for a startup helping SMBs launch their own branded credit cardsCatering to 'micro businesses'Stefanie Sample is the founder and CEO of FundidFundidStartups aiming to simplify the often-complex world of corporate cards have boomed in recent years.Business-finance management startup Brex was last valued at $12.3 billion after raising $300 million last year. Startup card provider Ramp announced an $8.1 billion valuation in March after growing its revenue nearly 10x in 2021. Divvy, a small business card provider, was acquired by Bill.com in May 2021 for approximately $2.5 billion.But despite how hot the market has gotten, Stefanie Sample said she ended up working in the space by accident. Sample is the founder and CEO of Fundid, a new fintech that provides credit and lending products to small businesses.This May, Fundid announced a $3.25 million seed round led by Nevcaut Ventures. Additional investors include the Artemis Fund and Builders and Backers. The funding announcement capped off the company's first year: Sample introduced the Fundid concept in April 2021, launched its website in May, and began raising capital in August."I never meant to do Fundid," Sample told Insider. "I never meant to do something that was venture-backed."Read the 12-page deck used by Fundid, a fintech offering credit and lending tools for 'micro businesses'Embedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote teamHighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingHelping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Jackson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersAutomating accounting ops for SMBsDecimal CEO Matt Tait.DecimalSmall- and medium-sized businesses can rely on any number of payroll, expense management, bill pay, and corporate-card startups promising to automate parts of their financial workflow. Smaller firms have adopted this corporate-financial software en masse, boosting growth throughout the pandemic for relatively new entrants like Ramp and massive, industry stalwarts like Intuit. But it's no easy task to connect all of those tools into one, seamless process. And while accounting operations might be far from where many startup founders want to focus their time, having efficient back-end finances does mean time — and capital — freed up to spend elsewhere. For Decimal CEO Matt Tait, there's ample opportunity in "the boring stuff you have to do to survive as a company," he told Insider. Launched in 2020, Decimal provides a back-end tech layer that small- and medium-sized businesses can use to integrate their accounting and business-management software tools in one place.On Wednesday, Decimal announced a $9 million seed fundraising round led by Minneapolis-based Arthur Ventures, alongside Service Providers Capital and other angel investors. See the 13-page pitch deck for Decimal, a startup automating accounting ops for small businessesInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now co-foundersNowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionCheckout made easyRyan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DPayments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia MontesiQoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ABetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay DavisAtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounderGleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPOAgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of LadderLadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionData science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of CounterpartCounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in fundingDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysSoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalPay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startupsNeepa Patel, Themis' founder and CEOThemisWhen Themis founder and CEO Neepa Patel set out to build a new compliance tool for banks, fintech startups, and crypto companies, she tapped into her own experience managing risk at some of the nation's biggest financial firms. Having worked as a bank regulator at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and in compliance at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and the enterprise blockchain company R3, Patel was well-placed to assess the shortcomings in financial compliance software. But Patel, who left the corporate world to begin work on Themis in 2020, drew on more than just her own experience and frustrations to build the startup."It's not just me building a tool based on my personal pain points. I reached out to regulators. I reached out to bank compliance officers and members in the fintech community just to make sure that we're building it exactly how they do their work," Patel told Insider. "That was the biggest problem: No one built a tool that was reflective of how people do their work."Check out the 9-page pitch deck Themis, which offers pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startups, used to raise $9 million in seed fundingConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair SilverbergHum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Helping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Gut Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo ParejoKaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed roundThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJun 22nd, 2022

Costco"s (COST) Business Model, Pricing Power Are Key Strengths

Costco (COST) has been rapidly adopting the omni-channel mantra to provide a seamless shopping experience. Costco Wholesale Corporation COST continues to be one of the dominant warehouse retailers based on the expanse and quality of merchandise offered. The company's distinctive membership business model and pricing power set it apart from the traditional players. Amid the surging inflation, low-to-middle income consumers have preferred discount stores over conventional retailers.This Issaquah WA-based company, stands to benefit from its ability to draw traffic via strategic pricing, a robust membership model and increasing penetration of e-commerce business. Cumulatively, these factors have been aiding Costco in registering impressive sales numbers.Net sales increased 16.9% to $18.23 billion for the retail month of May, the four-week period ended May 29, 2022, from $15.59 billion in the last year. This followed an increase of 13.9% in April and 18.7% in March. Impressively, comparable sales for the retail month of May jumped 15.5%. This followed increases of 12.6% and 17.2% in April and March, respectively. Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchCostco has been rapidly adopting the omni-channel mantra to provide a seamless shopping experience. To drive its online sales, the company launched grocery delivery services in collaboration with Uber Technologies in July 2021. This allows members to get their on-demand groceries delivered within hours through Uber and Uber Eats mobile apps. Also, Costco’s acquisition of Innovel Solutions, a leading provider of third-party end-to-end logistics solutions — now called Costco Logistics, has boosted its e-commerce capabilities and enabled it to sell "big and bulky" items.The company has been gradually expanding its e-commerce capabilities in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Australia. We note that comparable e-commerce sales rose 6.3% in May. This followed increases of 5.7% and 8.9% in April and March, respectively.Wrapping UpCostco is focused on ramping up investments in the wake of rising competition. We believe that its business model, as well as its commitment toward opening membership warehouses, and providing convenient and affordable ways to shop, will continue to drive traffic and, in turn, revenues. Shares of this currently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) player have appreciated 13.9% in the past year against the industry’s decline of 8.7%.3 Stocks Looking Red HotWe have highlighted three better-ranked stocks, namely Dollar Tree DLTR, Sysco Corporation SYY and United Natural Foods UNFI.Dollar Tree, which operates discount variety retail stores, carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present. DLTR has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 13.1%, on average. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Dollar Tree’s current financial-year sales and EPS suggests growth of 6.7% and 40.5%, respectively, from the year-ago reported numbers. DLTR has an expected EPS growth rate of 15.5% for three-five years.Sysco Corporation, which is engaged in the marketing and distribution of various food and related products, sports a Zacks Rank #1. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 9.1%, on average.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Sysco Corporation’s current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 32.6% and 124.3%, respectively, from the year-ago period. SYY has an expected EPS growth rate of 11% for three-five years.United Natural Foods, one of the premier grocery wholesalers delivering the widest variety of fresh, branded, and owned brand products, carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. UNFI has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 29.9%, on average.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for United Natural Foods’s current financial-year sales and EPS suggests growth of 7.2% and 4.9%, respectively, from the year-ago reported numbers. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR): Free Stock Analysis Report Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report Sysco Corporation (SYY): Free Stock Analysis Report United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 21st, 2022

Going on Vacation This Summer? Welcome to the ‘Revenge Travel’ Economy

Demand is soaring for vacations that are more frequent, more indulgent, and far from home. The clock had not yet struck noon on a recent sunny day in Copenhagen, but the hour didn’t stop Hannah Jackson and her friends from ordering a bottle of Champagne. After the waiter at one of the outdoor restaurants that line the Danish capital’s colorful harbor popped the cork, the four women from Texas gleefully toasted to their European adventure. “This is my first trip in more than two years,” said Jackson, 32. “We are celebrating every moment we can.” Because no phenomenon can be real until it can be hashtagged, the travel industry has been quick to brand the impulse driving Jackson and countless others this summer as “revenge travel.” Like revenge spending and even revenge bubble-tea drinking, the phrase refers to consumers’ increased willingness to cough up cash after 28 long months of lockdowns and restrictions. In travel’s case, that means a newly unbridled demand for vacations that are more frequent, more indulgent, and—more than anything—far from home. That demand got a boost on June 13 when the U.S. stopped requiring a negative COVID-19 test for entry. But as it rises to and even surpasses pre-pandemic levels, a host of challenges, from inflation to war to, yes, the lingering threat of COVID-19, casts a shadow on the rosy predictions of a rebound. Will this be the summer in which the travel industry does indeed get revenge on the pandemic? Or will its hopes be dashed once again? [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Read More: Can Barcelona Fix Its Love-Hate Relationship With Tourists After the Pandemic? “The truth is that tourism is rebounding very, very quickly,” says Luís Araújo, president of the European Travel Commission (ETC), which represents the continent’s national tourism organizations. “It’s quite impressive.” At this juncture, revenge travel looks to be off to a good start. Among Europeans, 70% are planning vacation trips between now and November, according to an ETC survey. The numbers are almost as strong among Americans, with 65% planning leisure trips within the next six months according to MMGY Travel Intelligence, a global marketing and research company based in Kansas City. According to Mastercard, bookings on short and medium-haul flights have surpassed pre-pandemic levels. And travel searches for the first quarter of 2022 were above their 2019 levels, according to Google, while searches for passport appointments jumped 300% in the first three months of this year. Carl Court—Getty ImagesTravelers wait in a long queue to pass through the security check at Heathrow in London, on June 1, 2022. “Pent up demand is already delivering rapid growth,” says David Goodger, Europe director for Tourism Economics, a U.K.-based company that provides forecasting and analysis to the travel industry. It’s driven, he adds, “by excess savings accumulated during the period when people couldn’t spend or travel as usual.” Those extra savings are affecting not only the amount of travel people are undertaking but the kind of travel as well. After decades of appealing to budget travelers with low-cost flights and party buses, many European destinations are emerging from the pandemic with a new emphasis on upscale travel. “A lot of enterprises, big and small, have spent the past two years renovating their facilities, upgrading, investing in their hospitality—adapting to the new needs of the customer,” says Araújo of the ETC. “We also see a lot of countries adjusting their communication to high-end travel.” Certainly companies that specialize in high-end travel are experiencing a boom. At Black Tomato, a luxury tour company with headquarters in London, the interest in itineraries that have guests island hopping in Greece or bottling their own perfumes in Provence is at record levels. “Demand for Europe is insane right now,” says Brendan Drewniany, director of communications. “We’re advising our clients that if they want to go to specific destinations in Europe at this point they’re going to have to be pretty open-minded about alternatives.” Nick Paleologos—Bloomberg/Getty ImagesVisitors take photos of the sunset in Chora, Mykonos, Greece, on June 11, 2022. Drewniany says that travelers started planning for this summer early: the company had its best quarter ever at the end of 2021, and in the first quarter of 2022, its clients are spending on average 31% more per booking. “We’re seeing a lot more multi-destination trips, and a lot more multi-generational ones,” he says. “People are traveling to celebrate milestones, and they want to bring the grandparents now.” And after all that time stuck at home with nothing to do except stream Netflix and tend their sourdough starters, travelers are eager for experiences. “I prefer to call it ‘liberation travel,’ rather than revenge travel,” Araújo says with a chuckle. “But there’s an increase in people wanting to stay in independent hotels, partly because they care about sustainability. And they’re looking for more authentic experiences as well.” Katie Parla can testify to that. The author of several books on Italian food, she leads culinary tours in Rome, and has seen her bookings surge 200% in the last several months compared to the same period in 2019. “People are just so grateful to be having these experiences,” Parla says. “Often they’re doing trips that they had planned to do in 2020, so even then something is closed or things don’t go as planned, they’re tolerant and understanding. They’re just so happy to be there.” Alessandra Tarantino—APTourists visiting the interior of Rome’s Pantheon stand in the light circle projected on the marble floor, on June 17, 2022. But we have been here before. In fact, the notion of revenge travel first emerged ahead of the summer of 2021, when everyone thought the worst was over and the world would soon open up again. In many ways, it did. Domestic travel in many places surged to nearly 90% of its 2019 rates that summer, and, as MMGY senior analyst Leanne Hill points out, tourists spent unusually high amounts that were, she says, “largely revenge-travel oriented.” But slow vaccine rollouts and adoption rates, coupled with the slew of ever-changing travel restrictions and newly emerging virus variants ultimately stymied expectations. International tourism was down 67% in July 2021 over its rates that same month in 2019. This time around, the obstacles to the fulfillment of travel fantasies, vengeful and otherwise, are less about the virus (all of the experts TIME consulted agreed that there was little tolerance for more lockdowns and restrictions) than other ills that have sprung up in its wake. “Inflation and staff shortages is the twin-headed monster threatening the travel recovery this summer,” says Tourism Economics’ Goodger. Staffing shortages are cutting into service across Europe. Many hotels have responded by automating some aspects like check in, and trimming once routine benefits like daily room cleaning. Restaurants from Copenhagen to Madrid have cut their operating hours and, in some cases, shut down altogether. But perhaps nowhere is the impact of the shortage on travelers clearer than in the scenes of chaos emerging from airports across Europe and the United States: flight cancellations, long waits for baggage that frequently fails to appear altogether, excruciating lines through security. “Demand is ramping up much more quickly than businesses, having shed workers during the pandemic, have been able to recruit for,” says Goodger. Horacio Villalobos—Corbis/Getty ImagesA couple sunbathes as tourists are seen in the background in Cais das Colunas in Lisbon, Portugal on May 19, 2022. And although American travelers are, according to MMGY estimates, planning on spending an average of $600 more per trip than they did a year ago, it’s unclear, analyst Hill says, “whether that’s because of increased costs or overall willingness to spend more.” There are clear signs, she adds, inflation is definitely starting to bite. “We’re beginning to see travel intentions start to erode slightly, particularly among travelers making less than $100,000.” Those concerns are echoed among Europeans travelers, according to the ETC, which found that while only 7% of travelers expressed concern about inflation and costs affecting their vacations in 2021, 13% do so now. At the high end too, pricing is “definitely a real challenge,” says Black Tomato’s Drewniany. “Hotel properties are all still recouping and it’s not that they’re trying to be extortionist, but prices are definitely worse. So it’s a challenge to explain and translate that to clients.” The war in Ukraine is also having an impact, at least in countries close to the border that, although they may not be major destinations, had experienced tourism growth prior to the pandemic. “These countries are running as smoothly as in any other country, but we’ve seen that they’ve had a hard time getting that message across to travelers,” says Araújo, especially when compared to the rapidly rebounding Mediterranean area. Inside Europe, he adds, the recovery has “two velocities.” Sarah Meyssonnier—ReutersA tourist stands in front of the glass pyramid of the Louvre museum in Paris, France, June 15, 2022. All that, and the uncertainty of COVID-19 to boot. When the U.S. lifted the requirement of a negative test to enter the country on June 12, it spurred an immediate boomlet within the larger boom of American travel plans. One global tour operator Explore, saw a 12% increase in website traffic immediately following the news, according to MMGY. Within Europe, though, some countries still have some restrictions in place, and the lack of clarity has translated, according to the ETC, into a weaker resurgence of long-haul flights to Europe, including from the US; those numbers are not expected to return to 2019 levels until 2024. Even so, most industry insiders are feeling optimistic about the summer ahead of them. And even more than revenge, that may be due to another pandemic-generated emotion: resilience. “You hear things like, oh, people are valuing experiences over Rolexes, and I think that is the reality right now: people are putting their money into experiences,” says Drewniany. But, he adds, there’s something else in play. “After everything everyone’s been through, there’s not a ton of fear about the unknown anymore. People know that if they’re scheduled to go to London in October and for some reason, London locks down or something, they know that we’ll figure it out. What you’re seeing renewed right now is this sort of inherent mindset of flexibility.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeJun 21st, 2022

Breaking Into the Top 1%

No matter the market, real estate professionals are always looking for ways to differentiate themselves in order to get to the next level. But what does it take to become part of that elusive 1%? In today’s ultra-competitive market, it takes persistence, tenacity and grit to make it to the top. It also takes a… The post Breaking Into the Top 1% appeared first on RISMedia. No matter the market, real estate professionals are always looking for ways to differentiate themselves in order to get to the next level. But what does it take to become part of that elusive 1%? In today’s ultra-competitive market, it takes persistence, tenacity and grit to make it to the top. It also takes a whole lot of preparation. This can be seen within a vast majority of industries, including sports. If you’re familiar with football, you know that the game isn’t won on the field. The game is won in the days, weeks and even months leading up to the actual game. It’s won in the hours of preparation that go into watching films of previous games, memorizing plays, hitting the gym and fueling your body with food and adequate sleep. Professional real estate sales is no different. I’ve been spending time with our Top 1% recently and documenting what they do. Curious? Here are the top six things our Top 1% do consistently: They do their research and marketing They’re genuinely interested in and understand others’ personality style They’re prepared for anything, especially the objections and most frequently asked questions They leave their ego in the car They’re masters of managing expectations They debrief and learn from every situation Research and marketing We know from the National Association of REALTORS® that 63% of consumers find us through a referral from a friend or a past business relationship. And 68% of consumers choose us based on our perceived trustworthiness, experience and reputation. Top producers know and understand these numbers and invest their time, energy and effort into where the business is most likely to be generated. Genuine interest What we have observed in the space between our top producers all the way down to those struggling is glaring. Top producers genuinely care about the relationship, while those struggling care about making a buck. We use a unique system called B.A.N.K. to pinpoint someone’s personality in nanoseconds. Not only is it fun and engaging, but it also creates instant rapport. Interested in discovering your true personality? Crack your code now by visiting www.jparcode.com. This high emotional intelligence approach leverages the best assessment tools, high-energy training and cutting-edge technology to maximize results. Leave nothing to chance Our top performers also take the time to rehearse or role-play frequently. In fact, many do this every day. Here are some tips I’ve picked up from watching my top performers prepare for any and all situations they may encounter: Make a list of every question, concern or objection your prospect might bring up. Create a list of everything that could go wrong. Develop a clear, logical and persuasive response to every possible question, concern and objection. Think of how you can get ahead of these circumstances by using stories and anecdotes, case studies and testimonials, statistics and facts. Have your information, ideas and documentation well organized so that you can reference the appropriate notes and materials at any time. Ego Gary Vaynerchuk put it well when he stated: “When you care more about the other person than you care about hitting your quota—when you make that shift—you go into the Jedi-ness of becoming a great salesperson.” The professional real estate salesperson with a massive ego can easily mistake refusal with rejection. When you make this mistake, it’s all too easy to take it personally. The truth? Far more people will say no than yes. So, how do you deal with this? Our Top 1% have learned not to internalize rejection. Top performers exert power over their emotions and know that this is a critical skill to master. Managing expectations As the chief executive of a large organization, I’m responsible for the problems that others haven’t been able to solve. And they all have a common root: uneven expectations. Many things have to happen, often in a specific sequence, before a transaction closes. Do you know what these things are? Do you know where you are in the process with each client, prospect and partner? Seek to understand what has to come before each step Don’t assume that everyone knows what will happen next Anticipate needs before others Communicate constantly and clearly Underpromise and overdeliver Debrief Debriefing is a structured learning process designed to evolve plans while they’re continuously being executed. It originated in the military as a way to learn quickly in rapidly changing situations and to address mistakes or changes in the field. In business, debriefing has been widely documented as a critical component as far accelerating projects, innovating novel approaches and hitting challenging objectives. It also brings a team together, strengthens relationships and fosters team learning. Our top producers have this concept mastered and execute this discipline more often than others. As such, these high-performing teams are more tight-knit than those who don’t. The game is won or lost way before you step on the playing field. So, before you play in sales again, do your research, be genuinely interested in others, be prepared for anything, leave your ego in the car and become a master of managing expectations. Finally—just like the Blue Angels—debrief and learn from every situation. Mark Johnson is the CEO JPAR Real Estate, a rapidly growing full-service transaction-based real estate brokerage focused on integrity, productivity and service. He is also the host of “Success Superstars,” a weekly show that highlights the blueprint of agent success and the co-founder of CoRecruit. He has invested decades in understanding the inner workings of high-performing real estate companies, managers, team, and their leaders in major markets across the world. Johnson has served as a business coach in progressive leadership capacities for one of the largest U.S.-based real estate firms, in sales and customer marketing leadership capacities for a major consumer goods company in addition to serving in the U.S. Army. Father of three, Johnson is a lifelong learner, Spartan and adventure athlete. He earned his MBA from California State University and a Behavioral Change Certification from the National Association of Sports Medicine. The post Breaking Into the Top 1% appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaJun 21st, 2022

Reverse Mortgage Market Rallies Amid Current Market Conditions

As aging in place has taken hold among older generations, experts say that the current market conditions have laid the groundwork for what is already shaping up to be a robust reverse mortgage market. “With record levels of homeowners equity and a boomer generation that seems incredibly intent on aging in place, it seems kind… The post Reverse Mortgage Market Rallies Amid Current Market Conditions appeared first on RISMedia. As aging in place has taken hold among older generations, experts say that the current market conditions have laid the groundwork for what is already shaping up to be a robust reverse mortgage market. “With record levels of homeowners equity and a boomer generation that seems incredibly intent on aging in place, it seems kind of inevitable that we will see an increase in reverse mortgages over the coming years,” says Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence for ATTOM Data Solutions. According to recent data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), that increase has already begun. The data, which CNBC reported on, showed that Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) loan volume climbed 26% in March. HECMs represent 95% of the reverse-mortgage market in the U.S., according to the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. While they provide a viable option for seniors to tap into their equity, Sharga notes that reverse mortgages come with “baggage” for some. “This is one of those products that the industry and consumers both had some issues with some years ago, and the reputation of those loans really suffered and hasn’t fully recovered since then,” he says. “For years, the FHA was losing a ton of money on its reverse portfolio largely due to overinflated appraisal numbers on the homes they were issuing these loans on.” There are additional risks as well, including exceptionally high upfront fees and the possibility of outliving your proceeds because of payout miscalculations. Despite the drawbacks associated with the product, Scott Harkless, chief revenue officer for Texas-based Open Mortgage, thinks the market conditions are still particularly favorable for reverse mortgages. “We are seeing a steady uptrend in reverse mortgage production both at Open Mortgage and in the broader industry,” Harkless says, adding that there has been more than a 35% increase in HECMs between the first quarters of 2021 and 2022. Serving thousands of clients annually across 22 states, the multi-channel mortgage lender has recently announced that it would be “doubling down” on its existing reverse mortgage business segment amid a growing market. “The most profound drag in today’s housing market is not higher mortgage rates; rather, it is constrained inventory,” Harkless adds. “While this is painful for home buyers and forward originators seeking to serve them, it also has the effect of raising home equity, which makes the reverse mortgage much more attractive.” Homeowner equity soared in recent years to just over $27 trillion during the hot housing market of the past couple of years, according to Wall Street Journal reports. Harkless indicates that more than $9 trillion in equity is tied to those over 62. He adds that 77% of the average retiree’s net worth is trapped in their home equity. “High inflation has also impacted retirement goals and challenged those living on fixed incomes, making seniors search out new ways to make ends meet such as releasing their home equity through a reverse mortgage,” Harkless says. While the uncanny home appreciation lends itself to the list of positives that are bolstering interest in reverse mortgages, Paul Hindman, managing director at Grid Origination Services, says that a potential shift in home values could pose a problem for the industry. “When you have an average situation and home prices increase to the degree that they have, and a bubble is implied and that bubble deflates obviously, that is a problem for reverse mortgage lenders,” he says. That’s primarily because homeowners who take out a reverse mortgage are locked into a value, Hindman adds. Suppose lenders are locked into a value during a housing bubble, and the price erodes. In that case, Hindman says that could lead to an “upside-down situation” when the term of that reverse mortgage ends and that person either sells, refinances, or dies. “But, they’ve got these things set up and established so strictly that they are protected in a volatile market but just not as volatile as the market is right now,” Hindman says. While a reverse mortgage provides a viable option for seniors and retirees to tap into their equity, it ultimately takes a certain amount of homes out of the market. “Seniors already have a heightened interest in aging in place since the pandemic, and now they are simply preparing their present home for the long term,” Harkless says. “Of course, the increasing reluctance of a senior to downsize or move is also contributing to the inventory problem, and I do not foresee this trend changing in the near term.” Despite reverse mortgages limiting the amount of sellable property—which is in limited supply in today’s market—Sharga notes that the scenario is not a zero-sum game for the housing market overall. “We will see inventory numbers increase as much as they would’ve if boomers had moved out in numbers closer to prior generations if they downsized or moved into retirement communities, or moved in with their adult children or whatever the other options were,” Sharga says. He adds that homeowners using the reverse mortgage were already staying in place to begin with. Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com®, echoed similar sentiments, adding that the current uptick in reverse mortgage activity is indicative of a trend that has already been in play, rather than a new phenomenon dragging more people into that situation. “The reverse mortgage is more a reflection of their intentions, rather than changing behavior, so I don’t think that will be a big departure from what we would normally see with a growing number of homeowners in those older ages where reverse mortgages can sometimes make financial sense,” she says. Though Hale believes that reverse mortgages are a good way for homeowners to tap into equity, she also notes that there are some cons associated with the option, mainly locking in the homeowners to the home. “You’re tapping into that equity and spending it down,” she says. “It’s not available in the future to you or perhaps the future generations. That presents challenges to the extent that the housing market is still shouldering an insidious inventory crisis. In past reports conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®, experts suggested that the growing number of outdated existing homes in the market that need renovation or rehabilitation is part and parcel of the housing supply crisis in the U.S. Before the housing boom of the early 2000s and subsequent extended underbuilding, the report showed that one-third of the U.S. housing stock was more than 40 years old. By 2019, that number surged to more than 50%. Since reverse mortgages are often used to supplement retirees’ income, that could worsen the pool of older homes that are falling out of viability for the buyer pool. “Homeowners are staying in their home significantly longer than they were a decade ago,” Sharga says. “Ten years ago, the average length that someone stayed in a home was between five and seven years in the space of a decade, almost doubling to somewhere between ten and 12 years.” The post Reverse Mortgage Market Rallies Amid Current Market Conditions appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaJun 20th, 2022

Can Brand Strength Aid PVH Corp (PVH) Amid Inflation Woes?

PVH Corp (PVH) continues to reel under inflation, supply-chain issues and higher logistic costs. However, brand strength and other strategic endeavors remain upsides. PVH Corp PVH is currently witnessing uncertainty related to the Ukraine war, macroeconomic challenges, inflationary pressure and the pandemic. Also, higher freight and logistics costs remain concerning.The company’s North America unit has been performing poorly for a while now. Despite the increased focus on streamlining the North American business, the unit remained well below the pre-pandemic levels due to a lack of international tourism, which is not expected to return to growth in fiscal 2022. This, along with the ongoing supply-chain pressures and logistic delays, is expected to continue to hurt the North America business throughout fiscal 2022.As a result, management slashed its fiscal 2022 guidance. For fiscal 2022, revenues are anticipated to increase 1-2% year over year (up 6-7% on a cc basis), down from the earlier mentioned 2-3%. This is inclusive of a 2% reduction each for the exit of the Heritage Brands Retail business and the war in Ukraine. The bottom line is expected to be $9.20 per share, down from the prior year’s reported figure of $13.25 and $10.15 on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis, respectively.For second-quarter fiscal 2022, management expects a year-over-year revenue decline of 4-3%. This is inclusive of a 4% reduction for the exit of the Heritage Brands Retail business and a 2% decline stemming from the war in Ukraine. The bottom line is likely to be $2.20 per share on a GAAP basis and $2.00 on a non-GAAP basis. Notably, it reported $2.51 and $2.72 on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis, respectively, in the year-ago quarter.Consequently, shares of PVH Corp have plunged 42.2% year to date compared with the industry’s decline of 36.4%. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research Brighter Side of the StoryDespite the downsides, management is looking into every nook and cranny for growth prospects. The company notes that the continued momentum in its core brands — Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger — and strength in the international business bode well.PVH Corp's international business witnessed growth in the first quarter of fiscal 2022, both on a year-over-year and a two-year basis, respectively. Notably, the international unit’s revenues jumped 8% year over year on a cc basis. The region witnessed gains across all markets, except for Greater China, which was affected by COVID-led shutdowns. Going ahead, management expects international business to drive growth.The company’s Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein brands continued to perform well in first-quarter fiscal 2022, driven by robust consumer demand. Calvin Klein launched its spring collection in the quarter and the all-together campaign, featuring an international cast, including Jennie Kim, and Euphoria star Dominic Fike.The Tommy Hilfiger brand benefitted from a solid performance in its global Tommy Jeans AAPE by A Bathing Ape collaboration, along with a higher sell-through rate and AURs. The brand also ventured into the metaverse via a partnership with the online game platform Roblox. Going forward, management remains confident about the underlying power of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, which position the company's business to succeed amid the ever-changing consumer landscape.This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company’s newly launched PVH+ plan mainly aims at accelerating growth via boosting its core strengths, and connecting Calvin Klein and TOMMY HILFIGER brands with consumers through five major drivers. The drivers are — win with product; win with consumer engagement; win in the digitally-led marketplace; develop a demand- and data-driven operating model; and drive efficiencies and invest in growth. The company expects to strengthen its presence in the global demand space, wherein its iconic labels resonate well with consumers.Management reinforces the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands so that these can cater to consumers’ needs in new and engaging ways. PVH Corp is focused on fueling digital growth by developing a holistic distribution strategy for Calvin Klein and TOMMY HILFIGER, driven by digital and direct-to-consumer channels and wholesale partnerships. It looks to develop a demand- and data-driven operating model with a systematic and repeatable product creation model.The model will put the consumer first, leveraging data to offer fresh products. Also, PVH focuses on boosting efficiencies to be cost-competitive and, in turn, reinvesting in strategic plans.ConclusionAlthough rising inflation and freight woes are expected to persist this year, we believe that strength in core brands and the international unit, as well as gains from the PVH+ Plan, will help the stock get back on track. Notably, a VGM Score of B and a long-term earnings growth rate of 9% raise optimism in the stock. Also, PVH Corp’s earnings estimates for fiscal 2022 have moved up 0.4% in the past 30 days.Other Stocks to ConsiderSome better-ranked stocks from the same industry are Delta Apparel DLA, Steven Madden SHOO and GIII Apparel Group GIII.Steven Madden is involved in designing, sourcing, marketing and selling private label footwear, handbags and accessories for women, men, and children. It currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). SHOO has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 44%, on average. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Steven Madden’s current financial year’s sales and earnings suggests growth of 15.2% and 19.6%, respectively, from the year-ago period's reported numbers.Delta Apparel, a manufacturer of knitwear products, currently sports a Zacks Rank #1. DLA has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 95.5%, on average.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Delta Apparel's current financial year’s sales and earnings per share suggests growth of 11.9% and 10.1%, respectively, from the year-ago period's reported numbers.GIII Apparel, a manufacturer, designer and distributor of apparel and accessories, presently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). GIL has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 160.6%, on average.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for GIII Apparel’s current financial-year sales and earnings suggests growth of 8.7% and 5.2% from the year-ago period’s reported numbers, respectively.Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report PVH Corp. (PVH): Free Stock Analysis Report GIII Apparel Group, LTD. (GIII): Free Stock Analysis Report Steven Madden, Ltd. (SHOO): Free Stock Analysis Report Delta Apparel, Inc. (DLA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 20th, 2022

The Bill Gurley Chronicles: Part 2

The Bill Gurley Chronicles: Part 2 By Alex of the Macro Ops Substack What if there was a way to distill all the knowledge that someone’s written over the last 25 years into one, easy-to-read document? And what if that person was a famous venture capital investor known for betting big on companies like Uber, Snapchat, Twitter, Discord, Dropbox, Instagram, and Zillow (to name a few)?  Well, that’s what I’ve done with Bill Gurley’s blog Above The Crowd.  Gurley is a legendary venture capital investor and partner at Benchmark Capital. His blog oozes valuable insights on VC investing, valuations, growth, and marketplace businesses.  This document is past two to the one-stop-shop summary of every blog post Gurley’s ever written, part 1 can be found here. February 2, 2004: The Rise Of Open-Standard Radio: Why 802.11 Is Under-Hyped (Link) Summary: WiFi will dominate wireless communications for the same reason Ethernet dominated networking and x86 dominated computing: high switching costs. This wide-scale adoption causes capital to flow into the standard as companies look to differentiate on top of the existing platform. In doing so, it further entrenches the “open-standard” incumbent.  Favorite Quote: “Open standards obtain a high “stickiness” factor with customers as a result of compatibility. Once customers invest in a standard, they are likely to purchase more and more supporting infrastructure. As their supporting infrastructure grows, their switching costs rise dramatically with respect to competitive alternate architectures. Customers are no longer tied simply to the core technology, but also to the numerous peripherals and applications on which they are now dependent. All of these things make challenging an accepted open standard a very difficult exercise.” March 24, 2004: All Things IP: The Future Of Communications In America (Link) Summary: South Korea and Japan are leading the world in broadband speed and connectivity. South Korea, for example, sports 80% broadband adoption. The US on the other hand, less than 50%. Different players battle for the future of US communication. Free services like Skype offer high-quality VoIP calls. But it’s the cable companies, with their mega-cable infrastructure, that lead the way. At the end of the day follow the money. Comcast went after Disney not because of distribution, but because of content. Favorite Quote: “Now, while voice should be free, that doesn’t mean that it will be free. The two conditions outlined above are nontrivial. First and foremost, it is not at all clear that we have enough competition in the U.S. broadband market. Innovations in the wireless market, particularly recent innovations around mesh architectures, have the opportunity to change this. As of right now, however, many users simply lack choice. Additionally, the many state municipalities around the country are eager to place their hands on VoIP. A poorly executed policy could in fact “increase” the long term pricing on voice services for all users (for example, would you really tax a free service?).” May 6, 2004: Entrepreneurialism And Protectionism Don’t Mix (Link)  Summary: Protectionism and entrepreneurialism don’t work together. One prides itself on open dissemination of ideas, talent and problems (entrepreneurialism). The other (protectionism) desires to keep what’s theirs and turn a blind eye to competition. There are seven reasons why these two ideologies don’t mix: it hurts the economy (comparative advantage), start-ups don’t receive government subsidies (that encourage protectionism), disincentivizes diversity, more start-ups start with a global presence, the hot markets are ex-US, it goes against our global open standards (WiFi, etc.) and its inconsistent with the entrepreneurial mindset.  Favorite Quote: “It is hard to imagine a successful entrepreneur arguing that he or she deserves a job over someone else that is equally skilled and willing to work for a lower wage. The entire spirit of entrepreneurialism is based on finding ways to do something better, faster, and cheaper. It is the whole nature of the game. If someone can do something better somewhere else, it simply means it’s time to innovate again – with intellect and technology, not politics.” October 19, 2004: The Revolutionary Business Of Multiplayer Gaming (Link)  Summary: Multiplayer gaming is an incredible business featuring five “Buffett-Like” business characteristics: recurring revenue (subscription pricing), competitive moats (switching costs), network effects/increasing returns, real competition with others and high brand engagement. Those that fail to realize the importance (and power) of the video game business model (40%+ operating margins) will miss a huge investment opportunity.  Favorite Quote: “Some skeptics argue that MMOG is still a “niche” business and that the same half-million users are migrating from Everquest to Ultima Online to City of Heroes. Under this theory, MMOGs will never be mass market and will never really “matter” in the $20 billion interactive entertainment business. However, with billion dollar businesses now dotting the NASDAQ, it becomes harder and harder to invoke such skepticism. And if new paradigms, architectures, and broadband speeds allow for titles that meet the needs of a wider demographic, ignoring MMOGs may be equivalent to ignoring the successor to television.” March 11, 2005: Believe It Or Not: Your State Leaders May Be Acting To Slow The Proliferation Of Broadband (Link) Summary: In 2005, rumors circulated that laws would pass eliminating a city’s right to offer telecommunications services to its citizens. Gurley suggested states should say “no way” to this offering, and opined six reasons why (straight from the post):  The primary reason for the proposition is to reduce or eliminate competition for incumbent telcos An oligopoly doesn’t make a marketplace Taking rights from municipalities will have negative overall impact on American innovation  Even if a city has no intention of deploying wireless services, it is still in that city’s best interest to retain the right to do so In 2005, isn’t it reasonable for a city to choose to offer broadband as a community service?  A founding American principle — localized government whenever possible Favorite Quote: “In what is ostensibly the cornerstone “democracy” on the planet, one would think that the citizens in each of America’s cities could simply “vote” on the services they believe make sense for their city to provide.  Running a wireless network in a city like Topeka, Kansas simply has no overriding impact on the state as a whole.  As Thomas Jefferson aptly wrote in a letter to William Jarvis in 1820, “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform them.”” March 21, 2005: The State Of Texas Refuses To Block Municipal Broadband (Link) Summary: Gurley’s post before this one did its job and Texas removed the harsh language around cities offering broadband access to its citizens. According to Gurley, the battle moved to Colorado.  Favorite Quote: “This proposed bill, in its original form, would prohibit a city from helping any new carrier whatsoever get started.  It’s a pure and blatant anti-competitive move.  It’s been modified slightly, but it is still one of the harshest proposals of any state, and once again created only to help the incumbent carriers by removing competition.  Consumers do not benefit from this language.” March 24, 2005: Texas Two Step – Backwards (Link) Summary: After celebrating the removal of restrictive broadband language three days prior, Texas reinserted the notion. What’s crazy is that the member who reinserted the language, Robert Puente, serves in a district where a large telco company has its headquarters. Hmm …  Favorite Quote: “It is shocking that these local reps really don’t care if broadband deployment in America continues to fall further and further behind the rest of the world.  Just shocking.” June 2, 2005: Texas Sets Key Precedent For Other States In Refusing To Ban Municipal Wireless (Link) Summary: It’s interesting that fixed broadband incumbents in Texas are so opposed to wireless broadband. The incumbents claim wireless is a weaker form of their product. But if it’s so weak, why do they want it banned from their state? Why won’t they let natural competition run its course? If it is indeed weak, there shouldn’t be a reason to impose sanctions and restrictions.  Favorite Quote: “The reason the pro-broadband movement was successful is because they organized, they gathered the real data on the success of municipal wireless deployments, and they were able to inform the citizens about this effort by the incumbents and their key legislators to use regulation to restrict competition.  They leveraged the Internet, blogs, and mailing lists, and made a huge difference.  The tech community also played a role with the AEA, the Broadband Coalition, and TechNet all speaking out against this effort to intentional slow technical progress.  These lessons and resources are now focusing on other states to ensure the Texas outcome.” July 12, 2005: DVD Glut (Link) Summary: Gurley saw the rise of TiVo and its effect on the DVD industry. Why would people pay for DVDs when they can record their favorite movies on TV and watch them whenever they want? There is no practical use for DVDs outside nostalgia and collection.  Favorite Quote: “Could it be that people are watching Shrek 2 on Tivo and saving that on Tivo for future viewing?  Could it be that other activities, such as Internet usage, is infringing on DVD time?” July 19, 2005: Do VCs Help In Building A Technology Platform? (Link) Summary: There are two important implications for venture capital’s lack of investment in Microsoft’s .NET platform. First, VCs are investing on the Open Platform. This is likely due to (what Gurley calls) “a more benign” platform. Such a platform allows for more creativity and application. Second, VCs aren’t investing in .NET applications because Microsoft’s simply going up the software vertical (owning each spot). There is a lack of opportunity within the existing .NET framework.  Favorite Quote: “Venture Capitalists look to the public markets for clues on where to go next.  There is no point in investing in technologies that don’t lead to liquidity events.  What the article stresses is that the majority of VC money these days is being spent on top of the Open Source platform rather than the Microsoft’s .Net platform.” July 22, 2005: Wifi Nation… (Link) Summary: This article gives us an excuse to talk about Innovator’s Dilemma. Clayton Christensen coined the term in his book with the same title. Wikipedia defines the term as, “the new entrant is deep into the S-curve and providing significant value to the new product. By the time the new product becomes interesting to the incumbent’s customers it is too late for the incumbent to react to the new product.” In short, WiFi is disrupting the incumbent broadband and their end consumers. Also, WiFi isn’t built for the incumbents. It’s built for the next generation.  Favorite Quote: “What you will see, and what many continue to deny, is that Metro-scale Wifi isn’t a theory, its a reality.  The networks are live.  They perform way better than EVDO or any cellular alternative. They are cheaper to deploy.  AND, there is huge momentum around more and more networks.” Years: 2006 – 2008 April 5, 2006: Why SOX Will Lead To The Demise Of U.S. Markets (Link) Summary: Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) killed the small and micro-cap public market spirit. Like most regulations, the creators of SOX thought their stipulations would preserve the growth of public markets. Instead it stunted growth. SOX is an expensive requirement for smaller public companies. The costs disincentivize companies from going public. In return, US capital markets offer less opportunities than global companions. Will this lead to more money flowing overseas? Favorite Quote: “Ironically, the two gentlemen that created SOX did it with the intention of “preserving” U.S. capital market leadership. Their fear was that people viewed our markets as too risky, and so they created SOX to ensure that investors would “trust” our markets.” April, 2006: As Wifi Grows, So Do The PR Attacks (Link) Summary: There will always be haters when new technology replaces old, resentful incumbents. Can you blame them? WiFi completely destroyed their business model. Of course they’re going to run sham campaigns. But that’s the beauty of the Innovator’s Dilemma. WiFi doesn’t care about fixed broadband and incumbents. It’s serving its new wave of customers who want something incumbents can’t offer. Look for this in other up-and-coming technologies.  Favorite Quote: “Better performance than EVDO at a much lower cost.  You won’t stop this with an AP article.  Are their issues?  Sure, but I drop 5 cell calls a day in Silicon Valley and that technology (cellular voice) is over 25 years old.”  April 27, 2006: MMOs (MMORPGs) Continue To Rock (Link) Summary: Gurley again emphasizes the importance of MMO video games — particularly out of Asia. In fact, he mentions that Nexon (Japanese gaming company) plans to file on the JSE. Gurley believes the JSE filing is directly correlated with Sarbanes Oxley (from the article above). Regardless, the real winners in the video game industry are coming from Asia. Winning games will be based on community and entertainment, rather than pure competition. It’s no wonder Fortnite is so popular today. Gurley gave us clues almost 20 years ago.  Favorite Quote: “Many of the rising stars of multi-player interactive entertainment are more social than interactive. They also target much broader demographics than gaming ever dreamed of hitting. Consider three sites targeted at younger children and teens that are all doing extremely well — NeoPets, HabboHotel, and GaiaOnline (Benchmark is an investor in HabboHotel).” June 19, 2008: Back To Blogging (Maybe)… (Link) Summary: Gurley returned from his writing break to mention a few of his favorite reading sources. Gurley notes that he reads each of these websites every morning:  TechCrunch GigaOm Marc Andressen’s Blog Favorite Quote: “The bottom line is I have been really busy. Busy with our investments here at Benchmark, and busy with three growing kids at home.  But in the end, I am quite fond of writing, and I have been inspired by some of the great writing of others.” June 30, 2008: Bleak VC Quarter? Why? (Link) Summary: June 2008 marked another dreary quarter for venture capital. Not one single VC-backed company went public. At first glance, this seems bad for venture capital. But looking deeper, it’s not venture capital that’s the issue. It’s the public market. Between regulations and SOX costs, small companies are opting to remain private at record numbers. As Gurley notes, fund managers want high growth and capital appreciation. But these small growth companies don’t want the issues of being a public company.  Favorite Quote: “This passionate desire to be public is completely gone in Silicon Valley. For reasons you could easily list – Sarbanes Oxley; 12b1 trading rules; shareholder litigation; option pricing scandals; personal liability on 10-Q filing signatures – it is simply not much fun being a public executive.” July 22, 2008: BAILOUT What? (Link) Summary: Fascinating how relevant this quote is for 2020. What we’ve seen from the US government during the COVID pandemic is a double-downed effort on its bailout precautions. Even going so far as to buy bond ETFs on the open market! Capitalism requires failure. It requires weak businesses to fall by the wayside in exchange for stronger competitors.  Favorite Quote: “Is our government really going to bail out equity investors in a failed business enterprise? I totally get keeping America afloat, but it is critical that failed businesses FAIL. They must FAIL. You can’t provide band-aids to equity failure. The whole system will come to a halt. Risk that pans out must result in failure. it is a crucial part of the system.” December 1, 2008: Benchmark Capital: Open For Business (Link) Summary: Gurley and the Benchmark team continued investing while the rest of their VC peers cowered in fear during the bowels of the Great Recession. Investing when others are fearful is not only a sign of a great VC firm, but any great company.  Favorite Quote: “I can’t speak for other firms, but make no mistake about…Benchmark Capital is wide open for business and we are eager to invest new capital behind great entrepreneurs.  Right now.  In this environment.  Today. You may wonder why I feel the need to make this pronouncement, and you may even consider this a stunt.  It is not.   We have made fourteen new investments this year, and are actively considering new investments each and every day.” December 5, 2008: Do VCs Help In Building A Technology Platform; Part 2 (Link) Summary: Microsoft offers three years of free software/service to startups. This is a clear signal that Microsoft understands the power of platforms and where companies choose to build their products. Otherwise, as Gurley notes, why offer it for free? This comes on the heels of three new cloud platform technologies entering the space: Facebook, Salesforce and Amazon AWS. VCs may not choose which platform wins, but they choose which platform gets capital. And to some, that’s the same thing.  Favorite Quote: “It obviously would be overstating it to suggest that VCs help “choose” the platform that wins. That said, it is a powerfully positive indicator if VCs show confidence in a new platform by shifting where they deploy their capital.” Years: 2009 – 2011 February 1, 2009: Google Stock Option Repricing: Get Over It (Link) Summary: Retail investors, bloggers, and financial pundits argued that Google’s Stock Options Repricing hurt the “common” shareholder. Gurley thinks stock options shouldn’t matter because common shareholders gave up their rights (more or less) when investing in Google shares. The fact is, Google’s founder and original shareholder shares carry 9/10ths voting power. That means minority (aka second-class citizen) shareholders get 1/10th. In other words, deal with it.  Favorite Quote: “So my reaction to anyone who owns Google stock and is sore over this decision — Get Over It.  You bought a stock where you gave up the ability to vote on such things, and if you don’t like it, sell the stock.  But you have no right to complain, as the rules were laid out from the beginning.” February 11, 2009: Picture Proof Of The Innovator’s Dilemma: SlideRocket (Link) Summary: With a team of 3 engineers and a fraction of Microsoft’s budget, SlideRocket created (arguably) a better version of PowerPoint. According to Gurley, SlideRocket is a perfect example of the Innovator’s Dilemma. PowerPoint took (probably) billions of dollars in R&D and thousands of engineers to create. SlideRocket did it with 4 orders of magnitude less resources.  Favorite Quote: “One subtlety of this is that it allows others to catch up and basically recreate the same thing for a fraction of the cost.   In SlideRocket’s case, it appears that a team of 3 engineers with primary work done by the founder, have recreated PowerPoint (leveraging Flex of course).”  February 18, 2009: Just Say No To A VC Bailout: A Green Government Venture Fund Is A Flawed Idea (Link) Summary: Some VC investors wanted a bailout from the government during the GFC. Gurley originally thought this was a far-cry from a lone complainer. Then he read an article by Thomas Friedman suggesting the same thing: a bailout for VC targeted at green-tech companies. According to Gurley, VC bailouts are flawed for six reasons: There are no lack of capital in VC VCs don’t deserve a bailout Those that need bailout are (likely) bad ideas Excess capital hurts markets Good companies don’t lack for capital Use customer subsidies instead of government-backed VC investment Favorite Quote: “Great ideas have never suffered from a lack of capital availability.  Bringing extra government dollars to the investment side will only ensure that marginal and sub-par companies get more funding dollars, which historically has had a perverse and negative effect on the overall market.” February 22, 2009: Just Say No To A VC Bailout – Part 2 (Link) Summary: Continuing the rant from the previous blog post, Gurley hits on three main criticisms with Friedman’s cry for a VC bailout. First, Friedman suggested that the US Treasury give the Top 20 VC firms up to $1B to “invest in the best VC ideas”. When you consider the 2% annual fee each year that VC’s take, you’re effectively giving these firms an additional $4B in partners’ fees. Finally, Gurley hammers home the idea that to win in green-tech you need to incentivize the customer on the demand side. Create a positive ROI proposition for the customer to use the product or service.  Favorite Quote: “The key is to create an ROI positive investment for the end customer through subsidies.  Ethanol isn’t falling to succeed because of a lack of capital — it’s a problem with customer ROI.  Invest through subsidies in making the market huge and ROI positive.  Capital alone will not solve the problem as the ethanol case proves.” February 27, 2009: Perfect Online Video Advertising Model: Choose Your Advertiser (Link) Summary: Gurley reveals his “perfect online video advertising model” in which consumers can choose their advertiser. It works like this. Before an online premium or VOD show starts, the content creators present the consumer with a list of 4-9 sponsors for the programming. Then, the consumer picks which sponsor they’d like to see when the inevitable ad runs during their program. The benefit to this is that content creators would know their customers’ interests to the tee, which would allow them to raise prices on advertising channels (read: higher revenue).  Favorite Quote: “Just because I am a male between 18-24 and watching “Lost” doesn’t mean I want an XBOX.  You are more likely to guess that i might want it, but you would be 10X better off if I chose XBOX as my sponsor at the start of the show.  Then you would KNOW I have an interest — no more guessing. Making predictions is always a dangerous game, but I am fairly certain that this will be the video ad model of the future.  It makes way too much sense not to work.” March 2, 2009: Looking For Work: Are You An Insurance Agent? (Link) Summary: One of Gurley’s investments had an unusual circumstance during the GFC: they had excess demand for work. LiveOps, a virtual SaaS call center on the cloud, leverages a network of work-from-home call center operators. At the time of writing, LiveOps had 20,000+ live call-center agents working from home assisting companies like Aegon, Colonial Penn, and American Idol.  Favorite Quote: “Their core technology is a SAAS “contact center in cloud.” Just like anyone’s call center, it is a four-9’s operation that is highly resilient. What’s different, and very unique, is that the agents on the other end don’t actually work for LiveOps – they work for themselves. So far, over 20,000 “crowd-sourced” agents are now working from home on behalf of LiveOps customers – companies like Aegon, Colonial Penn, etc. One really cool customer example is American Idol. For Idol Gives Back, AI’s charity campaign, over 4000 LiveOps agents handled over 200,000 calls in less than five hours. Only a crowd-sourced play could handle such a ramp.” March 9, 2009: How To Monetize A Social Network: MySpace And Facebook Should Follow TenCent (Link) Summary: Social networks had trouble monetizing their websites. MySpace and Facebook failed to generate revenue like Yahoo, which did $7B at the time of writing. The problem wasn’t growing the userbase (both sites had tremendous user growth). It was the dependence on advertising to generate the lion’s share of their revenues. Gurley compares MySpace and Facebook to Tencent (700.HK). The two primary drivers of revenue for Tencent are digital items and casual game packages and upgrades. These are significantly higher-margin businesses than advertising. At the end of the day, social networks are social status symbols. This means if you want to leverage your business, you need to provide users with ways to improve their social status. Favorite Quote: “If you removed the Chanel logo from them, and offered them for $50 cheaper, you could not sell a pair.  Not one.  Why?  People are buying an image that they want to project about themselves.  Without the logo, they fail to make that statement.  The same is true for watches, clothes, cars, sodas, beers, cell phones, and many more items.  People care greatly about how they are perceived and are willing to part with big bucks to achieve it.  Digital items are merely the same phenomenon online.” March 26, 2009: Note To Timothy Geithner: Do Startups & Venture Capitalists Really Need More Regulation? (Link) Summary: The US government levied Sarbanes-Oxley on all public companies after the whole Enron, WorldCom saga. The purpose? Protect investors from future frauds. While the efficacy of “Sarbox” remains in question, one thing doesn’t: the cost on small public companies. Sarbox costs ~$2-$3M to implement. This makes it nearly impossible for small companies to go public because the Sarbox costs eat away all potential operating profits. Overburdening small companies could restrict the pipeline of new public IPOs.  Favorite Quote: “And remember that the largest companies in America that were created in the last 35 years (MSFT, GOOG, AAPL, CSCO, INTC) were all small venture-backed companies at one point in time.  Do we really want to inappropriately restrain or throttle the future pipeline of such companies in America?” May 2, 2009: Swine Flu: Overreaction More Costly Than The Virus Itself? (Link) Summary: It’s amazing how relevant this blog post became during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gurley suggests that in some cases, overreacting to news (like swine flu) can have far worse consequences than the natural course of the virus itself. For example, Mexico’s economy teetering on the brink of insolvency as tourism represents a third of their economy. The argument for overreacting is that it prepares people for the worst-case scenario. Yet that decision has consequences. Consequences we can’t see, and might not see for a long time.  Favorite Quote: “Some people rationalize that this hysteria serves a noble purpose, in that it prepares us for the worse.  This, however, ignores the fact that there are tremendous real economic costs to overreaction, and that sometimes overreaction has far-reaching negative impacts which can be many times greater than that of the original problem.” May 8, 2009: Second Life: Second Most Played PC Title, #1 In Minutes/User (Link) Summary: Gurley’s investment in Linden Lab paid off big time in May 2009 when Linden’s hit game Second Life ranked as the #2 most-played PC title. The game trailed World of Warcraft in number of users, but ranked first in number of minutes played per user. Data like this further reiterates Gurley’s earlier claims that selling goods online (digital signs of social status) can make for a great business. It also shows people love distracting themselves from their everyday lives.  Favorite Quote: “The truth of the matter is that the company is quite large, it’s growing, it’s profitable,  it has hired a number of great people over this time frame, and as the data shows it’s kicking butt. Note that the data also shows SecondLife actually leads WOW in terms of minutes played per user.”   May 10, 2009: Bill Gurley’s Online Video Market Snapshot (Link) Summary: Gurley did an on Hollywood talk about the massive changes in the Online Video Market. The link has an 18-minute video where Gurley outlines five things that matter in the coming online video market battle:  Great content is super expensive Affiliate fees are a “huge fucking deal”  The Netflix Business model is widely misunderstood HBO and the NFL are incredibly well-positioned companies Wireless will not save the day  Favorite Quote: I didn’t have a favorite quote from this post as it was mainly a link to the video and slide deck. I highly recommend watching the video and scanning through the deck. It’s 18 minutes long but you can watch at 1.5-2x speed without issue.  Tyler Durden Sun, 06/19/2022 - 17:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 19th, 2022

Politicized Money & The Death Of Capitalism

Politicized Money & The Death Of Capitalism Authored by Matthew Piepenburg via GoldSwitzerland.com, As far as we are concerned, it is no great secret nor any great surprise that our faith in fiat money (in general) and the central bankers who have debased it (in particular) and precipitated the death of capitalism is anything but robust. To the contrary, our astonishment with the open mismanagement of global currencies as a whole, and the world reserve currency (i.e., the USD in particular), grows daily. In fact, to fully un-pack the long series of comical errors and the failed experiment of politicized central bankers seeking to solve a debt crisis ($300T and rising) with more debt, which is then monetized by mouse-click money, would take an entire book rather than single article to address. Hence our recent release of Gold Matters. But just because central bankers are desperate, political, fork-tongued, and directly responsible for pushing global currencies, markets and rigged banking systems toward (and eventually over) an historically unprecedented debt-cliff, this does not mean central bankers aren’t otherwise “clever.” That is, they’ll do “whatever it takes” in the near-term to postpone the fatal fall which they alone have pre-determined for the global financial system. As per usual, the central bank playbook is about artificial and centralized controls rather than natural supply and demand forces or honest, free-market price discovery. After all, who needs honest capitalism when we have heralded its death with rigged banking systems and mouse-click money? As far as I’m concerned, the death of genuine capitalism occurred long ago, with folks like Greenspan and Draghi standing over its grave. Everything Politicized –Including the USD The comical politicization of science which we saw in relation to the COVID hysteria (debacle), is no different than the inexcusable politicization (i.e., “weaponization”) of finance which we’ve recently seen in the post-Ukraine sanction debacle. It will thus come as no further surprise that central banks are anything but “independent” and are themselves nothing more than political petri dishes spreading increased “command-control” contamination into global markets as well as global politics and lives. The road from/between central banking to centralized politics is short and rotten, as confirmed by Mario Draghi’s short skip from heading the ECB to becoming Italy’s Prime Minister, or Janet Yellen’s equally small step from Fed Chair to U.S. Treasury Secretary. Here in France, it’s equally no coincidence that Christine Lagarde has moved from directing the IMF to presiding over the ECB. In short: Everything, including money, is politically-self-serving rather than economically free-market. Capitalism is dead. The folks in office to “save you” are mostly interested in saving their positions and guarding their power. No shocker there. Yellen: Bold or Just Demented? And as for Yellen, well…she is certainly a political beast and a fearless devotee of Keynesians gone wild, but she’s also a clever fox guarding the henhouse of that once trusted currency known as the USD and that once respected IOU known as the UST. Unfortunately, even foxes get trapped. Inviting Foreign Capital into a Burning Market As extreme over-valuation in risk assets (i.e., stocks, bonds and property) have become so openly undeniable, and as faith in an increasingly expanded (i.e., debased/discredited) USD has become openly weaker, the folks behind the USD (i.e., Janet Yellen) are trapped. They will now use all their political tricks and centralized powers to buy more time and postpone the debt, currency, social and political crisis which they alone spawned many years before COVID or Putin became the scapegoats de jour for their own monetary and fiscal exigence. Toward this rigged end, Yellen’s latest (and desperate) trick is now a deliberate attempt (via rate hikes) to force the USD index (DXY) up to 110 (or above) in a centralized attempt to bring more foreign (i.e., debased) money into the dangerous arms of an already grotesquely bloated, over-valued, volatile and risk-saturated US stock bubble. In short, in order to “avoid” a U.S. stock market crash (triggered by a Fed tapering into a debt-soaked/crippled market), this former Fed Chair’s solution is to coax more foreign money into a burning U.S. theater with fewer and fewer exit doors (i.e., liquidity). How’s that for clever? How’s that for desperate? Yellen is effectively politicizing the USD in order to force/cajole/entice foreign capital into crappy US securities (and out of safer global commodities) in order to provisionally save Uncle Sam’s market bubble from an inevitable implosion at the expense of other people’s money. When will central bankers realize that they can’t keep a market bubble alive forever to save their political rear-ends? And folks, compared to the dot.com disaster of 2000 or the sub-prime GFC of 2008, does this current market not look like a bit of a (Fed-engineered) bubble to you? Desperate Not Stupid? But again, politicized central bankers may be corrupt, dishonest, and desperate, but that doesn’t make them stupid. In a world or self-interest, Yellen, who likely smiled as the Yen tanked in recent weeks, knows that an artificially strong USD can still be perceived as the best horse in the global glue factory. That is, the Greenback can still attract foreign money into US markets with no better place left to hide, right? Well, not really. Yellen’s History of Getting It Wrong In fact, Yellen has a long history of getting the macros dead wrong in an effort to look momentarily and politically effective. Throughout 2017, for example, as the Fed was announcing QT for 2018, I was warning investors of a $1.8T bond wave and a late 2018 tantrum in risk assets, which hit the shores right on cue by Christmas. Yellen, however, said QT in 2018 would be like “watching paint dry.” By Christmas, however, the paint was as wet as the tears on investor portfolios suffering daily swings of 10%. In June of 2017, Yellen was also bold (blind?) enough to publicly declare that “we may never see another financial crisis in our lifetimes.” But by March of 2020, the markets lost greater than 30% and would have fallen twice as much had not the Fed printed more money in 1 year than in the past decade+ combined. How’s that for QE steroids? But as of 2022, Yellen is now running out of intellectual, monetary and policy bullets. If she thinks she can bribe foreign money into the S&P by manipulating the USD or DXY (temporarily bad for gold), she might be suffering from a disease which is apparently now common in DC, namely: open dementia. Back to (Debt) Reality Yellen, it seems, still thinks the old world and old ways can save Uncle Sam. But that world (see Japan below) is gone. The hard reality boils down to this: Uncle Sam is not trusted anymore, for so many reasons, including a debt to GDP ratio of 125%, a federal deficit at 10% of GDP and a new world in which foreign central banks are now buying only 5% of Uncle Sam’s unloved IOU’s (as opposed to 50% when Yellen was at the Fed in 2013). Thus, we can applaud Yellen’s bold statements and efforts to bring the DXY to 110+, but an increasingly tapped out and disenchanted world is tiring of bold statements followed by weakening economies, rising inflation and distrusted currencies. Expect a Pivot As I see it, the classic hawk-to-dove pivot seen in 2018 to 2019 will be repeated in 2022-23 as the current Fed makes minor (yet painful) rate hike and Treasury sales (i.e., QT) which will send debt-soaked markets south. This QT effort (and subsequently tanking market) will likely be followed abruptly by more QE and hence more inflationary tailwinds, which despite central bankers publicly claiming to “combat” inflation, is privately desired to inflate away portions of Uncle Sam’s debt while clobbering his nieces and nephews on Main Street with an invisible CPI tax. Of course, once the QE spigots re-open and DXY numbers fall, gold will continue its climb North. Meanwhile, More Warning Signs from a Stressed-Out Bond Market If the dementia exhibited by Yellen and the USD weren’t sad enough, we now turn to the most important indicator in the global markets: The crippled and toxic U.S. bond market. As we’ve been warning for years, Uncle Sam’s bar tab is too embarrassing to hide and hence his IOUs are too unloved to buy or trust, a distrust made all the worse by the recent freezing of Russian FX Reserves. And in case you haven’t noticed, there has been a bit of a media-ignored “problem” in the UST market. In May, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported over $500B in April Treasury “fails,” which is fancy-lad speak for counterparties failing to meat their security purchase and sale obligations. It is particularly alarming to see broad sell-offs in stocks at the same time that US Treasuries are not being bid at auction or successfully/contractually delivered to counterparties. Why these UST fails in the world’s largest and most liquid bond market were not front-page news at the WSJ or FT frankly astounds me. Who runs their editorial boards??? Turning Japanese In my separate reports, I reminded investors of the parallel fates of Japanese and US central bank policies and government bonds. To be clear, there are real differences between JGB’s and UST’s, just as there are clear differences between the Japanese and US markets and economies. Too much to unpack here. What is similar, however, is the corner in which US and Japanese central banks have placed their respectively broken bond and rate markets—markets which have immense implications for (and impact on) economic conditions, stock markets and inflation. Like the U.S., Japan is terrified of falling bonds, rising bond yields and hence peaking interest rates. To keep these yields repressed, Japan is forced to print Yen to buy its own JGB’s (sovereign debt), as bond prices move inversely to bond yields. This printing in Tokyo has devalued the Yen in ways similar policies out of DC will devalue the USD. The level of inflationary, currency-destroying money creation (QE) out of Japan is becoming, well: Insane. Japan may have to spend (i.e., print) as much as $100B/month to keep yields in control. The U.S. Fed faces a similar and inevitable corner, and hence a similar trajectory toward Yield Curve Control (YCC) and debased currency strength, as I’ve warned previously. But of even more immediate concern to Uncle Sam is not Japan’s thinning Yen, fattening bar tabs or a QE addiction akin to his own, but the fact that Japan, a key buyer of Uncle Sam’s IOU’s, is now too tapped out to cover two bar tabs at the same time. In short, Japan can’t afford Uncle Sam’s UST’s, despite Uncle Sam having previously relied on Japan to help keep $1.3T of his bonds (and bond market) afloat: The U.S. Bond Market: Stressed Out But a Yen-strapped Japan will soon be buying less U.S. Treasuries. The recent sell-off in long-dated U.S. Treasuries is evidence that Uncle Sam’s bond market is even less loved and hence in deeper trouble. Looking down the long and winding road ahead, this means Uncle Sam will need Uncle Fed to “fill the bond gap” by printing more money (hence the QT to QE pivot ahead) to buy his own debt, which just creates massive inflationary (and hence gold) tailwinds. Such signals from the US Treasury market, combined with my recent reports on the deteriorating investment grade (IG) bond market are extremely alarming. If we also add the distress signals coming from high-yield (HY) bonds to the pains now open and clear in the UST and IG markets, what we see is a collective U.S. bond market teetering toward a macro disaster whose current setting is the worst I’ve seen in my own career. HY bond issuance in the US has effectively slowed to a trickle in recent weeks. As a class, US bonds (UST, IG and HY) are falling, which, to repeat, means I see no realistic, longer-term option at the Fed other than more QE, more liquidity, more inflation and more currency debasement, despite even Yellen’s short-term efforts (above) to temporality send the DXY to 110+ this summer. Keep It Simple: History & Math In the end, of course, all bubbles pop, and the current “everything bubble” is an open insult to natural markets, real capitalism, real money and the necessary constructive destruction of mis-managed debt levels, all of which resulted from years of capitalism’s death and central bank drunk driving the likes of which history has never witnessed. Ultimately, even more QE or “liquidity” can’t save topping asset bubbles from both popping and mean-reverting, which mathematically looks like this: …as well as currency destruction, which historically looks like this: That’s why tracking bond markets, central banks, yield spreads and stock valuations can be helpful and interesting, but understanding history (and debt) is even more so: All rigged, debt-soaked, currency-debased systems fail. All of them. Every one of them. Timing market tipping points and speculating upon central bank policies has its imperfect role and place, but in the end, history (and gold) always gets the last say (and laugh) at politicized financial systems and a “capitalist” economy as openly broke (and broken) as the one empirically described above. Tyler Durden Sun, 06/19/2022 - 10:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 19th, 2022

14 Ways to Stretch Your Retirement Savings

When you’re looking at the fast-approaching years of your planned retirement, you may be thinking about how much you’re looking forward to being free from a daily work schedule. But, if you’re like most folks, you’re also thinking about how on earth you’re going to pay for it all with your retirement savings. It’s a […] When you’re looking at the fast-approaching years of your planned retirement, you may be thinking about how much you’re looking forward to being free from a daily work schedule. But, if you’re like most folks, you’re also thinking about how on earth you’re going to pay for it all with your retirement savings. It’s a rare person who can stare down their anticipated date of retirement without being concerned about financial planning and how they’ll fare after they’re no longer drawing a regular salary. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Fortunately, you can implement some proven strategies to help each retirement dollar work a little harder for you. The following 14 methods will help you stretch your retirement savings so that you can relax and enjoy your hard-won freedom from the daily grind. Delay taking Social Security benefits as long as possible Presently, adults in the U.S. can begin drawing Social Security benefits at age 62, unless they are disabled or legally blind. However, you’ll be entitled to draw your full benefits only once you attain your full retirement age, ranging from 66 to 67. You’ll increase your benefits if you wait until age 70 to begin drawing Social Security. The downside of that approach is, obviously, that you’ll have to keep working (or have other sources of income) between full retirement age and your 70th birthday. The upside is that you’ll be entitled to a bigger draw. If your goal is to maximize your monthly income during retirement and you’re capable of working the extra three to four years, this is a good strategy. Diversify your investments in a balanced portfolio Make sure you’ve spread your investments between both stocks and bonds in a mix that can bring both growth potential and stability. In addition, your investments should reflect your risk tolerance. Generally, the closer you are to retirement age, the more secure and the less risky your investments should be. Diversification can help spread that risk among a broader base of investments, thus creating a more stable allocation of assets. Resist the urge to dip into your retirement savings at every turn Understandably, many retired people get nervous when their checking or savings account balances drop lower than expected. When you’re anxious about income, and not earning what you used to, it’s tempting to make up the shortfall from retirement savings. It’s also a bad habit to get into. Before you know it, that balance will dip dangerously, too. Instead, aim to create an allocation of assets that you can rely on for regular distributions. That might include annuities (see below), dividends and interest payouts, or a segmented approach that spreads out your assets and their distributions for both the immediate future and the long term. Talk to a financial adviser if you’re unsure what the best way to accomplish this might be for your specific situation. Create a budget and stick to it A budget is a powerful tool that helps build financial security for life. It’s even more critical when you’re planning to enter into a period of life during which you’ll have a reduced or limited income. A formal budget will give you some certainty and power over what can sometimes seem out of your control. To create a reasonable, workable budget, follow these six steps: First, list out your fixed and variable monthly expenses in separate categories. Highlight the expenses you can eliminate and those you can trim, together with the estimated final amount for each expense. Don’t forget to add in estimated sums for health care and entertainment. Add together the revised and estimated sums in both categories to get a monthly total. This is the amount you’ll need to cover with income and savings. Next, estimate your income from all sources, including pensions, annuities, 401(k)s, IRAs, and other financial accounts. Compare the two numbers to determine whether you have a shortfall or will be able to save additional money. If you’ll need to cover a gap between expenses and income, make a note of how much and use the other strategies listed here to help fill that gap. A budget isn’t supposed to be a fixed, unchanging document. Instead, it should always reflect reality and whatever practical options you might have at hand. Consider an annuity Consider an annuity if you’re staring down an income/expenses gap. Annuities can help you generate guaranteed income for life so that you can manage your money more effectively throughout retirement. In an annuity, you enter into a contract with an insurance provider that assumes the risk of a series of payouts over the years, in exchange for your investment of a single lump sum. Your future monthly payments continue for the rest of your life, thus guaranteeing you additional income. Become a short-term landlord You may not want to take on the burdens of being a full-time, long-term landlord. Still, services like Airbnb have created a whole new market full of travelers willing to shell out funds to stay in a room or ADU (accessory dwelling unit — a separate living space from your primary residence that’s built somewhere on your property). With innovative marketing and the right price point, many Airbnb hosts earn a healthy monthly income stream to supplement their retirement income. Become a rideshare driver Another way to boost your retirement income and stretch those savings as much as possible is to sign up as a driver for Uber or Lyft. Rideshare drivers can set their own hours; thus, you can work as much or as little as you want. If you’re able to drive and you feel like this might be a good fit for you, being an Uber or Lyft driver can provide a healthy income stream in retirement, based on an equivalent hourly rate of anywhere between $8 and $12 per hour. Downsize as much as you can Selling a large family home and buying something smaller can help you reduce living costs considerably. As long as you have some equity in your home and you can find a cheaper living situation elsewhere, it’s a strategy you should consider. While you’re at it, downsize your belongings. Make a list of items you no longer want to keep or maintain and then offer them for sale on sites such as eBay and Craigslist. List books, movie DVDs, and music CDs in relatively good condition for sale on Amazon. You can also hold a yard sale to generate some money from those items. Finally, consider selling all but one if you have two or more cars. If you and your spouse or partner are no longer both working regularly, your transportation needs will likely change. A second vehicle may no longer be necessary. Selling one of those cars can help in two ways. First, you’ll get the purchase price of most likely a few thousand dollars at least, or possibly much more, depending on the age and condition of the vehicle. Second, you’ll offload those future carrying expenses such as gas, insurance, and maintenance. All of this can be a huge help for your retirement savings. Move to a less expensive area In addition to downsizing your home, consider relocating to a city or town with a lower cost of living. That way, even if you don’t increase your income at all, you can still benefit from making your limited funds stretch further. Look for articles from reputable sites that list out cities and towns with low CoL figures, narrow your list down to two or three choices, then schedule a visit to each to see which one feels best suited to your interests and needs. Cut your expenses Most folks think trimming expenses is the first thing you should do if you’re trying to stretch the spending power of your income. While other strategies may be more high-level and far-reaching in their impact, making lifestyle changes where you can to reduce expenses and costs is an immediate way to save money. First, examine your regular recurring expenditures for places you can eliminate charges altogether or choose less expensive options. Your subscriptions, phone apps, cable TV, and streaming services are all great places to start. You can also explore these other ways to trim your expenses: Eat out less Clip and save coupons Shop at stores that offer deeper discounts and lower prices Use mass transit when you can to save on gas and car maintenance Shop around for recurring expenses such as auto and home insurance Lay off the expensive coffee drinks and learn to make them at home Invest in a water filter pitcher instead of expensive bottled water Try to minimize your usage of water and other utilities Finally, shop mindfully and really ask yourself whether you want to make that special purchase. Whether it’s pricey specialty foods, clothing, books — anything at all, really — take a minute and ask yourself if it’s within your budget. You can generally find less expensive options for almost anything you want to purchase. Make catch-up contributions If you haven’t put aside as much as you’d hoped by this point and retirement is looming, consider whether you can make catch-up contributions to your retirement savings. These are often allowed when you’re 50 or older. You’ll need to make the maximum allowable contribution in a given calendar year first, but then you can exceed that cap with additional funds so you can maximize your income after retirement. For example, you’ll max out your contribution to the retirement plan offered by your employer at $20,500 in 2022, assuming you’re still working. However, if you’re 50 years old or older, you might be able to contribute an additional sum to that account to help top off your plan’s assets, up to another $6,500. Talk to your plan representative or HR officer at your place of employment if you’d like to pursue this strategy. Consider a part-time job Retirement from your career doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stop working altogether. Many retirees choose to take part-time employment to generate extra income and stay actively involved in the world. In addition, many employers are happy to hire more experienced older workers for part-time work. Look for discounts Lots of your favorite brands and establishments offer discounts to folks over a certain age. That age can vary widely, but is usually somewhere around 55 to 65 years old. Everything from hotel chains to your favorite restaurants to your neighborhood grocery store might offer some form of age-based savings or discount. Stay as active and healthy as possible Your most significant expenses in retirement, aside from shelter, are probably health-related. So it literally pays to ensure you stay in good health and get top-quality medical care when necessary. Most retirees in the U.S. are covered by Medicare, so it’s essential to start there and fully understand your options and coverage. Choose your supplemental plan carefully. Staying active and being proactive about your health, from as early an age as possible, is the single best investment you can make for your retirement. Use your pre-retirement years to cement all the good-health habits you can to minimize your risk of disease and accident. Eat a healthful diet by eliminating processed foods and sugar and choosing nutritional whole foods whenever possible. Take great care of your teeth with flossing and twice-daily brushing. Stay physically active with daily walks and exercise. And make sure you get enough sleep every night. Article by John Boitnott, Due About the Author John Boitnott graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Masters Degree in Education. He worked for 14 years as a broadcast news writer for ABC, NBC, and CBS News where he covered finance, business and real estate. He covered financial news for SAP for four years. Boitnott is now working as a columnist for The Motley Fool where he covers personal financial and investing strategies. Updated on Jun 17, 2022, 3:39 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJun 18th, 2022

Jefferies Top Five Stock Picks Get Physical

Earlier this week, analysts at Jefferies revealed their top 5 stock picks for the current volatile market environment. The CBOE volatility index, commonly known as the “VIX,” is a key measurement of expected future volatility based on S&P 500 index options. With medium term uncertainty at unprecedented levels and central banks starting to hike rates […] Earlier this week, analysts at Jefferies revealed their top 5 stock picks for the current volatile market environment. The CBOE volatility index, commonly known as the “VIX,” is a key measurement of expected future volatility based on S&P 500 index options. With medium term uncertainty at unprecedented levels and central banks starting to hike rates at excessive paces, it is more important now than ever for investors to look rebalance portfolios and find investments that can outperform bearish market movements. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The Jefferies report noted that with valuations depressed and fundamentals holding resilience, they believe the best ways are to invest in companies experiencing positive earnings revisions with compressed valuation. In the second half of 2022, the firm expects that some headwinds, such as inflated freight costs, should begin to subside but will likely be offset by markdowns in sales by companies. When challenges arise, opportunities may present themselves in other areas Jefferies sees potential growth opportunities for discount value retailers currently well positioned to gain market share as inflation pressures consumer spending. They also highlight that SaaS business models outperform with strong profitability and free cash flows. Although, companies with the highest earnings revisions have been Fitness related stocks whose forward estimates have risen over 25% higher since March. The three fitness names included in the key picks have robust growth pipelines and have successfully driven continued membership growth. The five picks across their coverage universe are ELY, EWCZ, FXLV, PLNT and XPOF. Callaway Golf Co (NYSE:ELY) Callaway is an American global sports equipment manufacturer and retailer of golf equipment, clothing and accessories. ELY's share price has sunk 47% after hitting a ten-year high of $37.75 in June 2021. ELY trades on a 28.5x price to earnings ratio, with expectations that the company will grow total sales by ~27% and profit (EBITDA) by ~22% in FY22. Following the most recent result, management announced a new $100 million share buyback that can be utilized at any time by the board. This allows management to create EPS accretion for shareholders by taking advantage of the depressed share price. Jefferies noted how Callaway continues to generate growth across its various businesses, which have benefited from sector tail winds in the Golfing industry. Jefferies attributes a $55 target on the stock. Fintel data analyzing the options market for the stock suggests there is bullish sentiment for the stock. From March to June, the put/call ratio (calculated by dividing all put options by call options) has drifted lower, currently at 0.61. ELY has a consensus 'buy' rating and a $35 target price, implying a 77% capital upside. The consensus target has retreated from highs above $40 in November 2021 but remains significantly above the share price, with a larger deviation in 2022. European Wax Center Inc (NASDAQ:EWCZ) European Wax Center is a major chain of hair removal salons that also offers waxing services and sells products for skin care, body, and eyebrow categories. EWCZ was initially listed on the Nasdaq in August 2021 with an IPO price of $17. Since listing, the company has traded with a wide share price range, gaining as much as 80% before erasing most gains but remaining 25% above the listing price. For the remainder of 2022, EWCZ expects to open 70-72 new stores and guided system wide sales of $875-915 million. The company is experiencing hypergrowth as it continues to roll out new centers, which somewhat justifies the forecast 54x FY22 end price to earnings ratio. Jefferies likes the firm's profitability with strong free cash flow driven by recurring revenue streams, giving the company a $41 target. EWCZ has a consensus 'overweight' rating and a $35.50 target price, implying a 66% capital upside. F45 Training Holdings Inc (NYSE:FXLV) F45 Training is an Australian franchise and fitness center operator that focuses on 45 minute group classes and is headquartered in Austin, Texas. The company has over 1,750 studios across 45 countries around the world. The company is trading on an FY22 forward price to earnings multiple of 7x and expects to double revenue over 2022. FXLV initially floated on the Nasdaq at $16 a share in July 2021 and has traded south since listing. In 2021, the company recorded a net loss of $182 million but was expected to generate a net profit of $60 million in 2022. The firm booked $2.5 million in net profit after tax in the previous quarter. On the same day, F45 announced they had obtained $150 million in the form of a financing facility to accelerate the expansion of the franchise in the US. The facility will be funded with debt financing, potentially increasing the facility to $300 million over time. Current franchisees and new prospects can apply for loan financing under the program to develop additional F45 studios from the current quarter. The Fintel platform gives FXLV an officer accumulation score of 81.28 based on an above-average share accumulation from insiders of the stock. Jefferies attributes a bullish target of $25 for the stock. FXLV has a consensus 'overweight' rating and a $14.22 target price, implying a 230% capital upside. Planet Fitness Inc (NYSE:PLNT) Planet Fitness is a North American operator of fitness centers with over 2,000 locations. PLNT has been a strong performing stock over a ten year time horizon with a share price that has traded broadly sideways for the last ~ three years. The company trades on a current price to earnings ratio of 96x but is forecast to fall to 39.9x at the end of 2022 and 29x at the end of 2023. PLNT is widely held by Fintel's retail investor base and rose seven spots in popularity this week to become the 29th most controlled security for those who have linked their portfolio to the platform. Jefferies likes the company's high profit and capital-light business model that generates strong cash flows. Following the Q1 result in May, the firm highlighted that member numbers grew to 16.2 million, reaching a new all time peak for the company. They remain positive on the stock with a target of $115. PLNT has a consensus 'overweight' rating and a $90.87 target price, implying a 48% capital upside. Xponential Fitness Inc (NYSE:XPOF) Xponential Fitness is a global franchise group of boutique fitness brands across the globe. XPOF was listed on the NYSE at $12 per share in late July 2021. The stock was extremely popular, rising over 100% in its first year of trading. XPOF has been unable to withstand the growth company derating this year and is trading on a ~41x forward FY22 price to earnings ratio. XPOF expects to open 500-250 new studios, growing total numbers by ~81% over 2022. Jefferies remains optimistic about Xponential's competitive position and an industry background where consumers prioritize health and wellness. The firm gives the stock a $30 target. XPOF has a consensus 'buy' rating and a $28 target price, implying a 112% capital upside. Article By Ben Ward, Fintel Updated on Jun 17, 2022, 3:57 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJun 18th, 2022

5 ways to stop spam messages or robotexts — and how to recognize when texts are a scam

Spam messages can be annoying, but there is a way to fight back. Here are 5 ways to block spam texts. There are several ways you can stop or reduce your phone's received spam texts.Westend61/Getty Images You can stop spam texts on an iPhone or Android by blocking, reporting, or filtering messages. Don't ever engage with spam texts — even to send a STOP request — as this will make it worse. Spam texts may contain simple spelling or grammar errors and instill a false sense of urgency. Unwanted text messages, while generally not as annoying as telemarketing calls, can be very irritating. Not only do spam texts clutter your text inbox and distract you with nonsense notifications, but if you don't have unlimited texting with your cellular plan, you might be paying for junk. And some spam messages contain links to potentially dangerous malware.It pays to try to stop — or at least minimize — spam texts when possible.Quick tip: There are also a number of methods you can use to stop spam calls on iPhone or Android. To learn how to mitigate a clogged inbox, read our article on stopping spam email.How to recognize spam textsThere are multiple clues that can help identify a spam text: The message has no relevance to you. The message may be completely random or unrelated to anything you have done. A popular scam in this category would be one stating that there is a delivery issue – such as an unpaid customs fee – with a package.  It instills a sense of urgency.  Texts like these might claim to be from your bank, wanting to verify your PIN or some personal information, or else your account will be locked or have other dire consequences. If in doubt, contact your bank or service directly.It has errors, or seems shady. Spam text messages often include poor spelling and grammar, as well as suspicious links or requests that just don't seem right.It sounds too good to be true. Promises of free gift cards, prizes or help paying off student loans are some of the typical examples that you might come across.How to stop spam textsHere are five steps you can take to filter or block spam texts.1. Don't respond to unwanted texts You're probably familiar with the way legitimate sources let you opt out of future text communication by replying "STOP." Many spammers offer you the option to respond with STOP — but don't do it.Don't text "STOP" unless you know the sender is trustworthy and legitimate.Dave Johnson/InsiderSpammers use your reply – any reply, including STOP – as a signal that you received your message and are actively engaged in your messages, which can embolden them to send you more messages. Your information can also be sold to other spammers who are looking for "verified active" phone numbers.2. Report spammers to your cellular providerOne way to counter spam texts is by reporting unwanted texters directly to your phone service provider. For most major carriers — including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon — you can copy the offending message and text it to 7726. You should receive a reply, which, depending on the carrier, might include a request to send the phone number that the spam came from. This probably won't result in instant results for you, but it will contribute to cleaning up the texting ecosystem for everyone. You can report potential spam to your phone carrier.Dave Johnson/Insider3. Filter potential spammersMost phones have a setting to automatically filter potential spam texts so they don't appear in the same list with important, legitimate texts from known contacts. On an iPhone, open the Settings app and tap "Messages." Scroll down and turn on "Filter Unknown Senders" by swiping the button to the right. On Android, open the Messaging app and tap the three dots at the top right. In the drop-down menu, choose "Settings," and then tap "Spam Protection." Finally, turn on "Enable spam protection" by swiping the button to the right. You can filter potential spammers on both iOS and Android.Dave Johnson/Insider4. Block specific spammersIf you get frequent spam from the same phone number, you can use your messaging app to block that number. Don't count on this helping in every situation, though, because most spammers can appear to use a different number each time they reach out to you, so blocking individual numbers may have little effect.On an iPhone, open the spam text and tap the user icon at the top of the page, then tap "info." On the next page tap "info" again, and then tap "Block this Caller."Screenshot of the caller information pane on iPhone with the block caller option highlighted.Dave Johnson/InsiderQuick tip: These can also come in the form of spam group texts. However, you can block them on an iPhone and prevent them from reaching you.On Android, the process may vary depending on the messaging app you're using, but in general, you can tap the three dots at the top of the message and choose "Block number" from the drop-down menu. 5. Use a paid text-blocking appHopefully, some combination of the previous tips dramatically reduces the number of spam messages you receive. If you need additional assistance, though, you can turn to an app designed to block spam.An app like RoboKiller, available for both iPhone and Android, can dramatically reduce the spam you receive, both in the form of phone calls and text messages. These apps aren't free, though. RoboKiller has a 7-day free trial, and then costs either $5 per month or $40 per year.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 16th, 2022

How to block spam calls and stop them once and for all

Robo and spam calls are annoying. Here’s how to stop them on your iPhone or Android phone. There are several ways you can work to stop spam calls and robocalls once and for all.martin-dm/Getty Images You can stop spam and robo calls by blocking numbers on Android or using Do Not Disturb on iPhone. To block spam calls and report telemarketers, you can join the National Do Not Call Registry. To screen and block spam calls, you can also use your phone carrier or download a third-party app. Robocalls just won't go away. Try as you might to ignore the ring of telemarketers, the spam always seems to return, no matter what you do. While the Federal Communications Commission has beefed up its own policies around spam and robocalls, it's still mostly on you to stop these annoyances. Whether you have an iPhone or Android phone, here's how you can block spam calls and robocalls for good. Note: An Insider survey in February 2021 found that 46% of Americans say they receive spam calls on their cell phone every single day.How to stop spam calls Don't pick up calls from unknown or unrecognized numbers. Answering robocalls confirms to spammers that your number is real, which may result in more calls. If you pick up accidentally, hang up immediately.Never give out personal information. Even if the caller says they are from a government agency or trusted institution, don't ever give out social security numbers, bank accounts, passwords, or any other information. Talk with your service provider. They may have apps or other tools that could help you block unwanted calls.How to block spam calls on iPhoneSpam calls on iPhones can be blocked by either blocking individual numbers or filtering unknown callers.Block individual numbersTo block a phone number on your iPhone, locate the robocall number on your Phone app's Recent calls list. Next, tap the "i" icon to the right of the number and select "Block Contact" from the options list.You can block all future calls from known spam calls by blocking individual numbers.Dave Johnson/InsiderFilter unknown callers1. Open the Settings app.2. Tap on Phone and select Silence Unknown Callers.Enable Silence Unknown CallersKyle Wilson/InsiderQuick tip: Turning on Do Not Disturb mode can also help by silencing all notifications that you don't explicitly allow.How to block spam calls on AndroidMuch like on iPhone, you can also block spam calls on Android.Block individual numbersTo block a number on Android, tap and hold the number in your recent calls list until a menu appears. Then select whatever variation of "Block/Report Spam" is available.You can add a number or block all unknown numbers.Abbey White/InsiderAny phone with the Android 11 update now has access to expanded robocall identification and prevention that helps call-screening apps more effectively sort out robocalls from real ones. Filter unknown callersSome Android devices allow you to block unknown calls as well. Like on iPhones, this is typically found in the Settings app under Phone.Other ways to block spam callsWhile the above can be effective, there are other ways to address spam calls.Join the US national Do Not Call registryThe National Do Not Call Registry takes you off of the public lists that telemarketers use to make their mass calls.While joining won't stop charities, political groups, debt collectors, and surveys from contacting you, it may reduce the number of spam calls you get. It also lets you report unwanted spam calls to the Federal Trade Commission. Add yourself to the National Do Not Call Registry to stop getting spam calls from reputable marketers.Dave Johnson/InsiderYou can register your number on the Do Not Call list at no cost by calling 1-888-382-1222 (voice) or 1-866-290-4236 (TTY). You can also do it online by following the steps below: 1. Go to DoNotCall.gov and hit the "Register" link.2. Enter your phone number without hyphens (you can register three at a time, in fact) and your email address (for confirmation).3. Go to your email and find the message from Register@donotcall.gov within 72 hours of your submission.4. Follow the steps within the email to complete the registration process.Use tools developed by phone carriersMost cell phone carriers have a number of free or low-cost tools available to help you automatically block robocalls and protect you from spam.Anti-robocall apps, like AT&T's Call Protect (pictured), will block known spam callers and try to flag suspected robocalls as "suspicious," dramatically reducing the number of marketing calls you answer.Dave Johnson/InsiderAT&T: The Call Protect app blocks both potential spam and fraud calls, while also offering nuisance warnings labels. You also have access to a personal spam-blocking list and the ability to block any unknown callers. Sprint/T-Mobile: T-Mobile — which now owns Sprint — offers Scam Shield, a free service that blocks any calls from numbers the carrier has recognized as a nuisance. Just dial #ONB# (#662#) from your phone to turn it on, or download it in the app store. Verizon: Call Filter offers spam detection and filtering, a blocked call log, and the ability to report a spam call. It's free for customers, with the premium version, Call Filter Plus, priced at just $2.99 each month for a single line or $7.99 a month for 3 or more lines. Quick tip: If your carrier isn't listed above, call their customer service line to find out what robocall and spam-blocking tools they have available.Download third-party call blocker appsAnother way to stop robocalls is to install a call-blocking app. Such apps actually intercept and answer calls for you, so they never ring through and annoy you, or expose you to a scam.Many of these apps also actively collect data on spammers, blocking them permanently once they have been identified —so by using a robocall blocking app, you're helping not just yourself but other callers.However, it is important to use a legitimate app and to conduct your own research. In order to function, these apps need access to both your call logs and contacts, which is sensitive information. Here are two reliable apps you can try that are available on iPhone and Android:Nomorobo costs just $1.99 per month, with a free version for VoIP landlines.RoboKiller costs $2.99 per month, and it comes with a truly delightful feature: it deploys its own bots who use carefully crafted pre-recorded messages to keep scam callers on the line as long as possible, wasting their time and preventing them from calling others.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 16th, 2022